“A strong commercial vehicle market and overall healthy economy, combined with progress in executing our strategic initiatives, positively contributed to our outstanding results this quarter,” said W.M. “Rusty” Rush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Rush Enterprises. “Once again, I am pleased to declare a cash dividend, which illustrates our confidence in the company’s financial outlook,” Rush added.
U.S. Class 8 retail sales were 69,607 units in the third quarter, up 35% over the same period last year, according to ACT Research. The company sold 3,325 Class 8 trucks in the third quarter, which accounted for 4.8% of the U.S. Class 8 truck market. ACT Research forecasts U.S. retail sales for Class 8 vehicles to be 254,100 units in 2018, a 28.8% increase compared to 2017.
“We had another solid quarter in Class 8 new truck sales due to widespread activity across all market segments,” said Rush. “Our quarterly vehicle sales are down compared to the third quarter of 2017, primarily because of the timing of some large fleet deliveries in the third quarter of 2017 and current new vehicle supply chain constraints,” explained Rush. “However, our Class 8 vehicle sales are up year to date compared to 2017, driven by a generally strong economy and continued demand from all markets and geographies.
“We expect our Class 8 new truck sales to accelerate in the fourth quarter, primarily due to large fleet deliveries, but the product mix could put pressure on truck sales margins in the quarter. Our used truck sales are up 26% over the third quarter of last year, driven by a robust used truck market and our efforts to appropriately position inventory in the right markets.”
The company’s Class 4-7 medium-duty sales increased 18% from the third quarter of 2017, accounting for 5.1% of the total U.S. market. U.S. Class 4-7 retail sales were 65,268 units in the third quarter of 2018, up approximately 6% over the third quarter of 2017. ACT Research forecasts U.S. retail sales for Class 4-7 vehicles to reach 254,000 units in 2018, a 5% increase over 2017.
“Our medium-duty truck sales significantly exceeded the market in the third quarter due to strength in the construction sector, especially in Florida and Texas, and activity from fleets and leasing and rental customers,” said Rush. “We believe our medium-duty sales will end the year strong due to our robust inventory of work-ready trucks available to support our customers’ requirements nationwide,” he added.
In the third quarter of 2018, the company’s gross revenues totaled $1.38 billion, a 9.4% increase from gross revenues of $1.26 billion reported for the third quarter of 2017. Net income for the third quarter was $41.7 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $29.8 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2017. Parts, service and body shop revenues were $426.8 million in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $375.8 million in the third quarter of 2017. The company delivered 3,325 new heavy-duty trucks, 3,349 new medium-duty commercial vehicles, 567 new light-duty commercial vehicles and 2,197 used commercial vehicles during the third quarter of 2018, compared to 3,647 new heavy-duty trucks, 2,828 new medium-duty commercial vehicles, 447 new light-duty commercial vehicles and 1,743 used commercial vehicles during the third quarter of 2017.
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