USA. Cummins reports most profitable Q3 in company history with 18% net earnings increase Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 November 2006
Company news:

Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) continued its strong performance in the third quarter, has reporting an 18 percent increase in net earnings on a 14 percent increase in sales, compared to the same period in 2005. Sales for the quarter were $2.81 billion, compared to $2.47 billion for the third quarter of 2005. Net income of $171 million, or $3.37 a share, was up from $145 million, or $2.90 a share, in the same period last year.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 23 percent to $296 million, or 10.5 percent of sales, while gross margins remained near record levels at 23.3 percent of sales.

Each of the Company’s business segments enjoyed double-digit percentage sales growth in the third quarter, led by the Power Generation and Distribution businesses, both of which performed above the top end of their targeted sales and profit ranges.

Sales in the Engine Business, the Company’s largest segment, rose 10 percent despite a decline in light-duty automotive volumes late in the quarter as a result of plant shutdowns at automotive facilities related to inventory rebalancing.

The Company saw sales growth in most of its markets around the world – both in its wholly-owned businesses and at its joint ventures, where income increased 19 percent from the same period in 2005.

“We performed well in the third quarter and see great opportunities for the future,” said Cummins Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Solso. “In particular, our Power Generation and Distribution businesses enjoyed significant growth – both in terms of revenue and profit.

“We also continue to produce returns above 10 percent, even as we are investing in new products, new markets and additional capacity for 2007 and beyond.”

As a result of the strong financial performance, the Company’s cash position has improved by $248 million from the beginning of the year, even as Cummins has continued to pay down debt and increased its pension funding. The Company’s debt/capital ratio is below its 30 percent target range and Cummins plans to repay an additional $250 million in long-term debt in December, as previously announced.

The Company also repurchased $14 million of its common stock in the third quarter as part of a previously announced plan to repurchase up to 2 million shares.

“Our continued strong financial performance has allowed us to create a strong balance sheet,” said Cummins Chief Financial Officer Jean Blackwell. “As a result, the Company is well positioned to withstand the challenges of the business cycle and invest in growth opportunities that will be the key to our future success.”

Cummins today reaffirmed its previous full-year guidance of $14.00 - $14.20 a share. The Company will provide guidance for 2007 in January, but expects EBIT margins to be within its 7-10 percent target range, on flat-to-5 percent increase in sales.

Despite the anticipated temporary slow-down in the heavy-duty engine market due to the emissions changes, Cummins expects 2007 to be a solid year for several reasons:

Cummins expects sales growth in most of its end markets.

The Company expects to see continued profitable growth in emerging markets, most notably China and India.

Cummins has a strong balance sheet, resulting in considerably less interest expense and greater liquidity.

The Company has a cost-control strategy in place across all businesses that is focused on using Six Sigma to become more efficient.

Cummins has increased the flexibility in its manufacturing plants to deal with the expected fluctuations in demand next year resulting from new emissions regulations.

The Company also continues to invest in profitable growth opportunities, two of which were highlighted by announcements in October. Cummins announced that it will produce a new line of high-performance, light-duty diesel engines at its Columbus Engine Plant by the end of the decade and that DaimlerChrysler is the first major customer for the new engine. The Company also announced that it had signed a joint venture agreement with Beiqi Foton Motor Company in China to produce 2.8- and 3.8-liter engines for the light commercial vehicle markets in China beginning in 2008.

“We have some exciting opportunities ahead,” Solso said. “The work done by Cummins employees around the world in recent years has prepared us well for 2007 and beyond.

Third-quarter details

Engine segment

Revenues rose 10 percent to $1.84 billion and Segment EBIT increased 20 percent to $183 million, or 9.9 percent of sales, which is at the top of the targeted range of 7-10 percent.

Global engine shipments rose 3 percent from the same period in 2005. Higher heavy-duty, medium-duty and high horsepower shipments more than offset a drop in light-duty shipments due to softness in the U.S. auto industry.

Heavy-duty engine shipments in North America were strong as OEMs worked to meet increased demand from truck fleets, in part due to fleets replacing trucks ahead of the 2007 emissions changes. The Company also grew its sales in the North American medium-duty truck and bus engine market by 48 percent from the same quarter in 2005.

Power Generation segment

Revenues rose 24 percent to $624 million – well above the targeted range of 8-10 percent. Segment EBIT increased 24 percent to $57 million, or 9.1 percent of sales – compared to the targeted range of 7-9 percent.

Sales increases were driven by volume gains as a result of strong demand in the commercial generator set and alternator businesses. Commercial sales rose 32 percent as demand grew around the world, with the exception of China and Southeast Asia.

Alternator sales rose 25 percent and the segment also posted sales gains in its energy solutions, rental and power electronics businesses. Sales in the consumer business fell 1.5 percent from the same period in 2005 due to continued softness in the recreational vehicle market.

Distribution segment

Revenues rose 17 percent to $346 million – above the segment’s 10 percent growth target. Sales gains primarily were driven by growth in the Middle East, Europe and the South Pacific. Increases in sales of power generation equipment were led by the reconstruction effort in the Middle East, which accounted for more than half the sales growth in this business line.

Segment EBIT increased 36 percent to $38 million, or 11 percent of sales – above the target range of 8-10 percent – as the segment continues to achieve its goal of growing earnings faster than revenues.

The Company also saw significant improvement in income from its North American distributor joint ventures during the quarter.

Components segment

Sales for the segment – made up of the Company’s filtration, turbocharger, fuel systems and exhaust aftertreatment businesses – rose 17 percent to $564 million. The segment benefited from strong sales gains in its North and Latin American filtration business as well as significantly higher sales in its North American fuel systems business.

Segment EBIT dropped 10 percent to $19 million, or 3.4 percent of sales, compared to the same period in 2005. The businesses in this segment – most notably Emission Solutions and Cummins Turbo Technologies – continue to invest heavily to ensure that Cummins has both the capability and capacity to provide critical technologies to support the 2007 products. In addition, this segment focused on rationalizing plants and transferring production to assist in future profit improvement, which resulted in manufacturing inefficiencies during the quarter.

Presentation of Non-GAAP Financial Information

EBIT is a non-GAAP financial measure used in this release. EBIT is defined and reconciled to what management believes to be the most comparable GAAP measure in a schedule attached to this release. Cummins presents this information as it believes it is useful to understanding the Company's operating performance, and because EBIT is a measure used internally to assess the performance of the operating units.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 November 2006 )
< Prev   Next >