Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc. last week announced strong first-quarter earnings, led by significant sales growth in almost every market. The first-quarter performance demonstrated the benefits of the company’s ongoing effort to lower its cost structure and to diversify its business beyond the North American heavy-duty truck engine market, the company said.
For the quarter, the company reported sales of $2.82 billion, up 5.2 percent from $2.68 billion during the same period in 2006. Net income of $143 million ($1.42 per diluted share) increased 5.9 percent from $135 million ($1.35 per diluted share), due to the company’s focus on strengthening its balance sheet and lowering costs. All earnings per share amounts reflect the two-for-one stock split distributed on April 9.
Earnings before interest and taxes decreased 4.7 percent to $243 million during the first quarter. This reflects lower sales in the North American heavy-duty truck market, investment in global growth opportunities and costs associated with introducing 2007 emissions-compliant products.
“Despite the predicted decline in the North American heavy-duty truck market, we achieved outstanding results in the first quarter,” said Tim Solso, Cummins chairman and CEO. “These results show our strategy is working, and we expect that type of performance to continue the rest of this year and beyond.
“We did what we said we would do — continued to deliver superior products and service to our customers, even in the face of significant changes to U.S. emissions regulations. Despite our outstanding performance in the first quarter, we don’t intend to relax. We remain committed to making the 2007 product launch cycle the best in our history and we are focused on controlling our costs and providing the best possible products and service.”
Based on the Company’s first-quarter results and updated forecast for the rest of the year, Cummins also announced that it has increased its full-year profit guidance to $6.00 to $6.50 a share, up from $5.50 to $5.75 a share.
In the Engine segment, Cummins reported sales of $1.76 billion, 3 percent lower than the same period in 2006, while Segment EBIT declined by 28 percent to $128 million, or 7.3 percent of sales. Global heavy-duty truck engines shipments decreased 45 percent, while global medium-duty truck engine shipments decreased 7 percent. Shipments to the global construction markets increased 25 percent, while oil and gas shipments jumped 11 percent.
In the Power Generation segment, sales, segment EBIT and return on sales reached all-time highs. Sales of $675 million were a 26-percent increase from the same period in 2006, while segment EBIT rose 71 percent to $77 million, or 11.4 percent of sales. Commercial generator sales rose 27 percent and alternator sales increased 43 percent, as both markets showed strength in almost all geographic areas. Consumer sales improved by 7 percent, aided by the introduction of portable generator sets.
Sales fell 2 percent to $309 million in the Distribution segment due to changes in reporting for a North American distributor joint venture. Excluding the reporting change, sales rose 12 percent compared to the first quarter of 2006. Segment EBIT of $39 million, or 12.6 percent of sales, increased 26 percent from the same period in 2006.
Sales rose 18 percent to $657 million in the Components segment, while segment EBIT declined 23 percent to $24 million, or 3.7 percent of sales. Significantly stronger results in the company’s exhaust aftertreatment business were more than offset by the expected decline in heavy-duty volumes in the Fuel Systems division and higher material and new product costs in the company’s Turbo Technologies division.
Cummins Inc. is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.