PACCAR earnings slow in first quarter

Kenworth robotic cell

PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) reported slowing but solid revenue and profits in the first quarter despite shuttering its truck manufacturing plants in late March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The parent company of Kenworth Truck Co., Peterbilt Motors and DAF Trucks earned $359.4 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the first quarter of this year, down about 43% from the $629.0 million, or $1.81 per diluted share, earned in the same period last year.

Revenue was $5.16 billion, down 20% from $6.49 billion earned in the first quarter of 2019.

The January to March period was already expected to be tough because of slowing orders for new Class 8 trucks. During its fourth quarter call with analysts, PACCAR forecast first-quarter deliveries to decline 5-7% with gross margins falling 14% from 14.4% compared with the October-December 2019 period.

Then the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“First quarter truck deliveries were impacted by the temporary closures of PACCAR truck manufacturing facilities worldwide, which began March 24, resulting from government coronavirus mandates,” CEO Preston Feight said in a statement.

PACCAR made up for some of the lost truck business through stronger parts sales, which Feight said “supported the shipment of medical supplies, food, infrastructure material and essential goods to our communities around the world.”

PACCAR Parts earned record quarterly pretax income of $214.7 million in the first quarter of 2020, up 3% from the $207.6 million earned in the same period last year. PACCAR Parts achieved first quarter revenues of $998.6 million, compared to the $1.0 billion reported in the same period last year.