International books quarterly loss

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CHICAGO, Ill. — Navistar International Corp. reports a modest fiscal second-quarter loss on a seven per cent drop in revenues.

The Illinois-based truck-maker’s net loss for the quarter ended Apr. 30 wasn’t as deep as Wall Street analysts had been expecting. But in releasing the results, Navistar also reduced an earlier forecast for industry-wide truck sales in the current fiscal year, and cautioned investors its earnings situation for the fiscal year is “challenging.”

In the latest quarter, Navistar reported a net loss of $4 million, or seven cents a diluted share, compared with net income of $3 million, or five cents a share, a year earlier.

“The current downturn, which has been the worst in memory, has impacted all market segments,” says chairman and chief executive John Horne; as a result, he says, International is reducing its industry forecast for the year ending Oct. 31.

International says it now expects the market for medium trucks — where the company is the biggest player — will be 101,500 units, down from the earlier forecast of 112,500.

Holding about 60 per cent of the market for school buses, International also trimmed 2,000 units from its forecast for that market, saying that because of reduced government outlays, it now anticipates industry sales of about 26,000 buses.

But the company wasn’t all doom and gloom. It also raised forecasts for industry sales of Class 8 trucks by 12,000 units, to 156,000, but not because of improved fundamentals in the still-depressed heavy-truck group.

Horne credits the rush to pre-buy vehicles in advance of the Oct. 1 clean-air mandate for the increase.

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