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Lower Truck Sales Hurt Rush's Earnings

First quarter earnings plunged 70%, in part due to lower truck and construction equipment sales.

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On April 22, 2009,

Rush Enterprises


reported that its Q1 FY09 earnings plunged 70.4%, hurt by lower revenue. Net income for the quarter stood at $2.86 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to $9.68 million, or $0.25 per share, in the prior year's quarter.

Total revenue plunged 18.5% to $329.09 million from $403.86 million, due to lower truck and construction equipment sales. Looking at the company's business segments, revenue from truck sales dipped 22.0% to $195.99 million from $251.43 million. Construction equipment sales slipped 58.7% to $7.00 million from $16.94 million in Q1 FY08, while parts and service revenue declined 7.1% to $109.22 million from $117.58 million. Moreover, finance and insurance revenue declined 52.4% to $1.72 million from $3.60 million. On the positive side, lease and rental revenue increased 3.5% to $13.48 million from $13.02 million in the year-ago quarter. Finally, other revenue increased 31.2% to $1.69 million from $1.29 million on a year-over-year basis.

The company's gross profit margin narrowed 61 basis points to 18.75% from 19.36% a year ago. Operating margin contracted 258 basis points to 1.72% from 4.30%. The company delivered 1,032 new heavy-duty trucks, 754 new medium-duty trucks and 577 used trucks, compared to 1,266 new heavy-duty trucks, 972 new medium-duty trucks and 900 used trucks in Q1 FY08. Also, management announced that its Rush Truck Center in Tucson, Arizona delivered one of the first Peterbilt production hybrid diesel trucks to the Community Food Bank Fleet.

Looking forward to Q2 FY09, the company expects truck sales to continue at a slow pace. In addition, the quarter is anticipated to be the most challenging operating period due to continued weak truck and aftermarket sales.