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PACCAR reports record-setting revenue and profits in first quarter



PACCAR has begun work on a 250,000 square-foot parts distribution center in Las Vegas, taking advantage of good times to reinvest in itself. (Courtesy: PACCAR)

Bellevue, Wash. — That economic slowdown everyone keeps predicting is coming? It sure hasn’t arrived yet at PACCAR Inc. The company, which includes the Kenworth and Peterbilt nameplates, announced Tuesday record revenues and net profits for the first quarter of 2019.

“I am very proud of our 28,000 employees who have delivered industry-leading products and services to our customers,” PACCAR CEO Ron Armstrong said in a released statement. “PACCAR delivered a record quarterly number of trucks, driven by Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF’s (PACCAR’s European nameplate) strong market share and robust global truck demand. PACCAR Parts achieved record quarterly revenues and pretax profits.

Armstrong said much of PACCAR’s good fortune can be attributed to “continued economic and freight growth in North and South America and Europe.”

“We expect 2019 to be another excellent year for PACCAR,” Armstrong said. “Kenworth and Peterbilt’s 2019 build schedules are substantially full, DAF is increasing market share in the European market and the South American above 16-ton truck market is expected to increase approximately 25% in 2019 compared to last year.”

First quarter 2019 net sales and financial services revenues were a record $6.49 billion, 15% higher than the $5.65 billion earned in the first quarter of 2018. PACCAR achieved net income of $629.0 million in the first quarter of this year, another record and 23% higher than the $512.1 million earned in the same period last year.

“First quarter 2019 U.S. and Canada Class 8 truck industry retail sales increased 23% compared to the same period last year,” said Gary Moore, PACCAR executive vice president. At the same time, the company set a new high with 51,000 vehicle deliveries worldwide.

“The strong U.S. and Canada Class 8 truck market and backlog reflect the growing economy and record freight demand,” Moore said. “Class 8 truck industry retail sales for the U.S. and Canada are projected to be in a range of 295,000-315,000 vehicles in 2019.”

DAF’s European above-16-ton truck registrations increased 10% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. “DAF achieved a record 17.1% market share in the European above 16-ton segment in the first quarter this year,” said Harry Wolters, DAF president. “We estimate that European truck industry registrations in the above 16-ton market in 2019 will be in a range of 290,000-320,000 trucks.

In Brazil, the above 16-ton truck market is projected to rebound by approximately 30% to 65,000-75,000 vehicles in 2019, compared to 53,000 vehicles last year. “DAF Brazil is increasing its market share in a growing Brazilian truck market,” said Carlos Ayala, DAF Brazil president.

PACCAR Parts also had a record first quarter, with a pretax income of $207.6 million in the first quarter of 2019, which is 8% higher than the $191.8 million earned in the same period last year. PACCAR Parts achieved revenues of $1 billion in the first quarter of 2019, which is 7% higher than the $939.9 million reported in the same period last year.

“PACCAR Parts has achieved 8% average annual sales growth over the last 15 years,” said David Danforth, PACCAR vice president and PACCAR Parts general manager. “PACCAR Parts’ outstanding growth has been driven by investments in PDCs (parts distribution centers), increased dealer locations including TRP Stores, expanded PACCAR-branded and TRP product lines, industry-leading fleet services and e-commerce programs, and a growing number of PACCAR trucks and engines in operation.

PACCAR Parts is constructing a new 160,000 square-foot PDC in Ponta Grossa, Brazil, and begun construction of a 250,000 square-foot PDC in Las Vegas. Both are scheduled to open in 2020.

PACCAR’s excellent long-term profits, strong balance sheet, and consistent focus on quality, technology and productivity have enabled the company to invest $6.2 billion in new facilities, innovative products and new technologies during the past decade.

“In 2019, capital expenditures of $625-$675 million and research and development expenses of $320-$340 million are targeted for new truck models, integrated powertrains including electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell, advanced driver assistance systems, truck connectivity, and enhanced manufacturing and parts distribution facilities,” noted George West, PACCAR vice president.

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ACT Research For-Hire Trucking Index: Weak finish to 2nd quarter



The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The latest release of ACT’s For-Hire Trucking Index (June data) showed nearly across-the-board declines, with capacity again the lone exception.

The Volume Index dropped further into negative territory, falling to 43.2 (seasonally adjusted) in June from 46.7 in May.

The June Pricing Index at 43.8 (seasonally adjusted) recovered a good bit of last month’s sharp decline, up from 38.8 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest in survey history.

“Volumes and utilization have been down seven of eight months, and the supply-demand balance has been loosening for eight straight months,” said Tim Denoyer, ACT Research’s vice president and senior analyst. “In line with several second quarter earnings warnings from truckload carriers this week, this is further confirmation of a weak freight environment. May’s Pricing Index looked a little anomalously bad, so it was good to see that pick back up, though still not a great level in June.”

Denoyer said volumes reached a new cycle low in June, likely due in part to rapid growth of private fleets, the slowdown in the industrial sector and some inventory drawdown.

“This coincides with most other freight metrics,” he said. “The supply-demand balance reading loosened to 41.4, from 42.1 in May. The past eight consecutive readings have shown a deterioration in the supply-demand balance, with June the largest yet.”

ACT is a publisher of new and used commercial vehicle (CV) industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market. ACT’s CV services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, major trucking and logistics firms, as well as the banking and investment community in North America, Europe, and China.




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Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious



After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price of a gallon of diesel went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week. (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S. said it had destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf, where a lot of the world’s oil is shipped through. Stock markets were largely stable as investors monitor earnings and the ongoing trade talks between China and the U.S.

Energy prices were ratcheted higher after President Donald Trump said a U.S. warship had downed an Iranian drone that had been threatening. While Iran denied the incident, it’s the latest incident to increase tensions and uncertainty in the region, where oil tankers have been attacked or threatened.

About 20% of all oil traded worldwide passes through the Persian Gulf, so investors are aware of the potential for disruptions to ship traffic.

The U.S. benchmark for crude oil advanced 71 cents, or 1.3%, to $56.01 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international oil standard, picked up 98 cents, or 1.6%, to $62.91 per barrel.

Obviously, the price of on-highway diesel is an outgrowth of the price of oil.

Diesel has gone down seven of the last eight weeks.

After six weeks of declines that totaled 13 cents, the price went up 1.3 cents a gallon for the week ending July 8 but dropped four tenths of a penny last week.

Stock markets were mixed, with Britain’s FTSE 100 shedding 0.1% to 7,484 and the CAC 40 in Paris falling by the same rate to 5,543. In Germany, the DAX rose less than 0.1% to 12,236. Wall Street looked set for small gains, with the future for the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.2% and the future for the S&P 500 adding 0.1%.

Reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke with their Chinese counterparts as planned, with more talks to come, helped ease some concerns over the deepening trade war between Washington and Beijing.

The standoff over China’s longstanding trade surpluses and its policies aimed at building up advanced high-tech industries has added to concerns over slowing demand and weaker Chinese growth.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will move quickly to cut interest rates have also helped buoy sentiment recently.

Comments by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, John Williams, suggesting central banks need to “take swift action” when conditions turn adverse, have whetting investors’ appetites for buying, analysts said.

“Investors are highly sensitive to dovish comments from Fed presidents these days, as they are trying to figure out whether the Fed would lower its interest rates by 50 basis points by the end of this month,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya of London Capital Group said in a report.

“Given that a 50-basis-point cut would trigger a further rally in global equities, any remark of dovish nature translates immediately into higher asset prices,” she said.

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 2% to 21,466.99 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.1% to 28,765.40. The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.8% to 2,924.20, while in South Korea, the Kospi added 1.4% to 2,094.36. India’s Sensex slipped 1.3% to 38,390.88. Shares rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Investors are looking ahead to corporate earnings.

So far, in the U.S. the results have been mixed, though only about 13% of S&P 500 companies have reported, according to FactSet. Analysts expect profits to fall 2.4% overall by the time all reports are tallied.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 107.60 Japanese yen from 107.30 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1239 from $1.1279.

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ACT Research: Industry currently astride Class 8 demand inflection



This chart shows the Class 8 North American build out backlog and the backlog to build ratio. (Courtesy: ACT RESEARCH)

COLUMBUS, Ind. – According to ACT Research’s (ACT) latest State of the Industry: Classes 5-8 Report, June’s Class 8 orders broke the string of falling order volumes with the opening of 2020 order books, garnering a 19% rebound.

While better orders slowed the rapid backlog decline, the situation is temporary, as coming months represent the seasonally weakest order period of the year, suggesting rapid backlog declines should continue in the near-term, according to Kenny Vieth, ACT Research president and senior analyst.

“The industry is currently astride the Class 8 demand inflection,” Vieth said. “On one side of the ledger, weak freight volumes and rates will increasingly pressure carrier profits, thereby moderating demand for new equipment. On the other, significant new capacity additions and steadily increasing inventory volumes suggest current build rates are unsustainable.”

Vieth said medium duty metrics remained in-line with expectations again in June, with most metrics close to their prevailing trends, if displaying some fraying at the edges.”

ACT Research is a publisher of commercial vehicle truck, trailer, and bus industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American and China markets. ACT’s analytical services are used by all major North American truck and trailer manufacturers and their suppliers, as well as banking and investment companies.

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