Lake Forest, Ill.-based CNH Global N.V. last week reported third-quarter 2006 net income of $67 million, up 148 percent compared to net income of $27 million in the third quarter of 2005. Results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $4 million in the third quarter of 2006, and $16 million in the third quarter of 2005.
Third-quarter diluted earnings per share were 28 cents, compared with 12 cents per share in 2005. Before restructuring, net of tax, third-quarter diluted earnings were 30 cents per share, compared with 19 cents per share in 2005.
"We were pleased at the continued strength of our construction equipment markets in the quarter outside of North America," said Harold Boyanovsky, CNH president and CEO. "Our equipment operations gross margin improvement has continued into the third quarter, up 1.8 percentage points compared with last year, despite slightly lower revenues, and is up 2.2 percentage points for the first nine months compared with last year. These results strengthen our confidence in our full-year targets."
To accelerate cost-reduction activities, CNH last week initiated new global initiatives, including the closure of its Belleville, Pa., and Goodfield, Ill., agricultural manufacturing facilities to improve manufacturing efficiencies. Production from these two plants will be relocated to other existing facilities in North America and Poland.
Net sales of equipment, comprising the company's agricultural and construction equipment businesses, were $2.7 billion for 2006, compared to $2.8 billion for the same period in 2005.
Increased sales of light construction equipment products, including the new line of compact tracked loaders led a 4-percent increase in net sales of construction equipment to approximately $1 billion, compared to last year. Net sales were up 1 percent excluding currency variations.
Adjusted EBITDA for equipment operations increased 16 percent to $185 million, or 6.9 percent of net sales, compared to $160 million in 2005, or 5.8 percent of net sales.
CNH's net income for the nine months rose 65 percent to $257 million, compared to $156 million for 2005. Results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $13 million in 2006, and $24 million in 2005. Nine-month diluted earnings per share increased 63 percent to $1.09, compared to 67 cents per share in 2005. Before restructuring, net of tax, diluted earnings per share were $1.15, compared with 77 cents per share in 2005.
CNH believes that worldwide industry unit retail sales of construction equipment will be stronger than in 2005. Worldwide industry sales of heavy construction equipment are expected to increase by 10 to 15 percent, led by increases of 15 to 20 percent in rest-of-world markets and Latin America. Industry unit sales in Western Europe and in North America could be up 5 to 10 percent compared with 2005.
Worldwide industry unit retail sales of light construction equipment could be up as much as 10 percent, with Western Europe up 10 to 15 percent, rest-of-world markets up as much as 20 percent and markets in Latin America up 25 to 30 percent. In North America, industry sales are expected to be at about the same level as in full year 2005.
CNH expects its net sales of equipment to increase in the range of 2 to
4 percent. The company anticipates 2006 diluted earnings per share, before restructuring, net of tax, to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.50, compared with 95 cents per share for 2005.
CNH Global N.V. is a global provider of agricultural and construction equipment, including the Case and New Holland brands.