CNH REPORTS THIRD QUARTER PROFIT DRIVEN BY STRONG SALES OF AGRICULTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IN THE AMERICAS
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Lake Forest, Illinois (October 26, 2004) CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH) today reported third quarter 2004 net income of $25 million, compared to a net loss of $36 million in the third quarter of 2003. These results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $9 million and $21 million, respectively, in the two periods. Third quarter 2004 earnings per share were $.19 compared to a loss of $.27 per share in the third quarter of 2003, including restructuring charges of $.06 and $.16, respectively.
"Strong revenue growth in the Americas, for both our agricultural and construction equipment businesses, together with steadily improving performance in financial services, has brought CNH solidly into the black for the quarter," Paolo Monferino, CNH president and chief executive officer said. "With the closing of the East Moline facility, we have closed the book on our manufacturing rationalization plan. Looking ahead, we fully expect to achieve our 2004 objective of about a $150 million improvement in the bottom line, excluding restructuring costs."
CNH's net income for the first nine months was $99 million in 2004, compared to a net loss of $46 million for the first nine months of 2003. These results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $46 million and $47 million, respectively. Earnings per share for the first nine months of 2004 were $.74, compared to a loss of $.35 in the first nine months of 2003, including restructuring charges of $.35 and $.36, respectively.
Third quarter sales of agricultural equipment.
Net sales of agricultural equipment increased by 14% to $1.918 billion for the quarter, compared to $1.684 billion for the third quarter of 2003. Substantial revenue growth in North America accounted for most of the improvement. When adjusted for currency fluctuations, net sales in Europe declined in the quarter while unit sales at the retail level remained essentially flat.
Third quarter 2004 North American industry unit sales of both over-40 horsepower agricultural tractors and combines increased significantly compared to the same period last year. In Western Europe, industry unit sales of tractors improved moderately while industry sales of combines declined. Industry sales of agricultural tractors increased slightly in Latin America in the third quarter, while industry sales of combines declined.
Overall retail unit sales of CNH agricultural equipment increased in line with the global market, with the greatest gains in the third quarter coming from over-40 horsepower tractors worldwide and combines in North America.
Third quarter sales of construction equipment.
Net sales of construction equipment totaled $871 million, up 30% compared to $671 million for the third quarter of 2003. Substantially higher net sales were recorded in North America and Latin America. Sales in Western Europe declined slightly net of currency fluctuations.
Third quarter industry unit sales of heavy equipment improved dramatically in the Americas and moderately in Western Europe. Industry sales of light equipment showed moderate growth in all markets.
Worldwide retail unit sales of CNH heavy and light construction equipment kept pace with the market. In both North and Latin America, the brands of CNH gained market share in the recovering backhoe segment.
Equipment Operations third quarter financial results .
Third quarter net sales of equipment were $2.789 billion, up 18% compared to $2.355 billion for the same period in 2003, led by robust growth in North America. Net of currency fluctuations, sales increased by 14% compared to the same period last year.
CNH Equipment Operations' third quarter gross margin increased slightly year-over-year in spite of higher than expected steel costs in the period. Improved pricing, increased volume, and favorable currency were the major factors driving the third quarter increase in the margin.
The company's third quarter industrial operating margin increased to $94 million, or 3.4% of net sales, compared to $72 million, or 3.1% of net sales, in the third quarter of 2003, reflecting the increase in the gross margin.
CNH Equipment Operations adjusted EBITDA was $135 million for the third quarter compared to $84 million in the same period last year.
Equipment Operations year-to-date results.
For the first nine months of 2004, net sales of equipment totaled $8.714 billion, compared to $7.386 billion for the same period last year.
CNH Equipment Operations adjusted EBITDA was $522 million, or 6% of net sales, for the first nine months of 2004 compared to $332 million, or 4.5% of net sales, in the same period last year. The interest coverage ratio for the twelve months ended on September 30, 2004 was 2.9, compared to 1.9 for the twelve months ended September 30, 2003.
Financial Services third quarter financial results .
In the third quarter of 2004, CNH Capital reported net income of $48 million, compared to $24 million in the same period last year. The gain on sale from the company's $1.5 billion ABS transaction in the quarter accounted for most of the change. In 2003, most of the company's ABS transactions occurred in the second and fourth quarters.
Financial Services year-to-date financial results .
For the first nine months of 2004, CNH Capital reported net income of $104 million, compared with $57 million in the first nine months of 2003. Better spreads on the company's ABS transactions and higher margins accounted for the improvement in the bottom line in the first nine months of the year.
Balance sheet .
Equipment Operations net debt declined by 30% to $1.340 billion on September 30, 2004 from $1.902 billion on December 31, 2003. Equipment Operations reported net cash flow from operating activities of $705 million for the first nine months of 2004. The reduction in net debt was driven primarily by the first step in a broad initiative to extend to Europe and Latin America, the North American business model for wholesale receivables management and the establishment of dedicated, independent funding structures for these receivables. As part of the transfer of responsibility for wholesale receivables to CNH Capital, CNH entered into a new securitization program, in Europe, whereby certain of its equipment operations subsidiaries sold a total of $484 million of receivables and CNH Capital Europe subscribed to $226 million of notes representing undivided retained interests.
Agricultural equipment market outlook for 2004 .
CNH expects North American industry sales of combines and over-40 horsepower tractors to outperform 2003 levels in the fourth quarter. In Europe, industry sales of tractors should remain near 2003 levels, while sales of combines should be moderately higher than in the fourth quarter last year. In Latin America, fourth quarter industry sales of agricultural tractors and combines should decline in comparison to a very strong 2003 fourth quarter.
Construction equipment market outlook for 2004 .
Industry sales of both heavy and light construction equipment are expected to increase moderately in North America in the fourth quarter, although the rate of the increase may slow as comparisons toughen. In Western Europe, fourth quarter industry sales of heavy and light equipment should continue to run moderately ahead of 2003 levels.
CNH outlook for 2004 .
CNH now believes that the adverse impact of higher steel costs, net of pricing, seen in the third quarter may continue through the balance of the year. Improved performance in Financial Services and higher volumes in CNH's agricultural equipment business should offset the steel impact.
As previously announced, CNH expects to incur restructuring charges in 2004 of about $125 million, pretax, as the company completes its restructuring initiatives. CNH expects its full year 2004 net income to improve by approximately $150 million, excluding restructuring charges, on anticipated consolidated revenues of about $12 billion.
Calculation of weighted average common shares outstanding .
In April 2003, CNH issued 8 million shares of Series A Preferred Stock in exchange for the retirement of $2 billion in Equipment Operations indebtedness owed to Fiat Group companies. The Series A Preferred Stock will automatically convert into 100 million CNH common shares if the market price of the common shares, defined as the average of the closing price per share for 30 consecutive trading days, is greater than $24 at anytime through and including December 31, 2006 or $21 at anytime on or after January 1, 2007. Due to recent changes in accounting principles effective in the fourth quarter, CNH will reflect the impact of these contingently convertible shares retroactively in its computation of diluted weighted average shares outstanding beginning with the company's fourth quarter 2004 earnings release.
CNH management will hold a conference call later today to review its third quarter results. The conference call webcast will begin at approximately 10:00 am U.S. Eastern Time. This call can be accessed through the investor information section of the company's web site at www.cnh.com and is being carried by CCBN.
CNH is the power behind leading agricultural and construction equipment brands of the Case and New Holland brand families. Supported by more than 12,000 dealers in approximately 160 countries, CNH brings together the knowledge and heritage of its brands with the strength and resources of its worldwide commercial, industrial, product support and finance organizations. More information about CNH and its products can be found on line at www.cnh.com.