Profitable Navistar sees more gains ahead

Navistar International Corp, the commercial truck and mid-range diesel engine producer, tallied substantially improved earnings for its third fiscal quarter. Based on the current outlook, earnings for the fiscal year ending Oct 31, 2004, are on track to meet or exceed $2.95 per diluted common share.

Net income for the three months ended July 31, 2004, totaled $56 million, compared with $18 million a year ago.

Daniel C Ustian, Navistar chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said the third-quarter profit was achieved despite increased costs associated with meeting 2004 emission requirements, increases in the price of steel, and component shortages.

“Last December we defined a path to long-term success and third-quarter results are consistent with that vision in spite of these challenges,” Ustian said. “Our focus continues to be on improving our competitiveness and our cost structure, and we expect to achieve a $1,600-per-vehicle manufacturing cost reduction in the current fiscal year.”

Net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2004 totaled $88 million, compared with a net loss of $95 million in the first nine months of 2003.

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