Blue Bird Delivers Strong Fiscal 2020 First Quarter Results

MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD), the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, announced its fiscal 2020 first quarter results on Feb. 12.

GAAP net loss for the first quarter was $0.4 million, an improvement of $0.8 million compared with the first quarter of FY2019. Blue Bird’s Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $8.0 million, an increase of $0.8 million over prior year, despite higher commodity costs and lower volume. Diluted EPS and Adjusted Diluted EPS were up 3 cents and 2 cents, respectively for the quarter.

“We are very pleased with our first quarter,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “The combination of continued growth in alternative-fueled bus sales and our focus on driving higher revenue, contributed to an increase in average selling price per bus of more than $5,000, or 6 percent over last year’s first quarter. We also continued to make progress with our Transformational Initiatives, resulting in our sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in Adjusted EBITDA Margin.”

Horlack said that “We expect further gains through the balance of FY2020 and beyond, as we continue to implement our profit- and margin-growth strategy. We are pleased to reaffirm our net revenue and profit outlook for FY2020, with full-year revenue guidance at $1,020- $1,050 million and Adjusted EBITDA guidance at $90-$95 million.”

Horlock reported that “We are focused on delivering differentiated and innovative products that customers want and value, as demonstrated by our continued strong growth in alternative-fueled bus sales. Our year-to-date bookings and firm order backlog in this segment are 5 percent above the same time last year, representing 46 percent mix of our total bookings and orders. That’s a new year-to-date record for us. With the industry’s broadest range of alternative-fueled school buses, offered at the lowest-emission levels, we are the undisputed leader in product and sales in alternative fuels.”

Horlock added, “While making key investments in our production facility through FY2020 to drive productivity and quality, we will continue to generate positive cash flow, with Adjusted Free Cash Flow guidance at $30-$35 million.”

Fiscal 2020 First Quarter Results

Net Sales

Net sales were $153.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, a decrease of $1.7 million, or 1.1 percent, from prior year period. Bus unit sales were 1,460 units for the quarter compared with 1,600 units for the same period last year.

Gross Profit

First quarter gross profit of $21.3 million represented an increase of $2.2 million from the first quarter of last year. Gross profit margin improved 1.6 points to 13.9 percent.

Net Loss

Net loss was $0.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, representing an increase in profit of $0.8 million compared with the same period last year, due to higher tax and interest expense in the fourth quarter of FY2019.

Adjusted Net Income

Adjusted Net Income was $2.0 million, representing an increase of $0.8 million compared with the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA was $8.0 million, representing an increase of $0.8 million compared with the first quarter last year. Bus pricing and cost reductions more than offset the impact of commodity-cost headwinds and lower volume.

Conference Call Details

Blue Bird will discuss its first quarter 2020 results and other related matters in a conference call at 4:30 PM ET on Feb. 12. Participants may listen to the audio portion of the conference call either through a live audio webcast on the company’s website or by telephone. The slide presentation and webcast can be accessed via the Investor Relations portion of Blue Bird’s website at www.blue-bird.com.

Webcast participants should logon and register at least 15 minutes prior to the start time on the Investor Relations homepage of Blue Bird’s website at http://investors.blue-bird.com. Click the link in the events box on the Investor Relations landing page.
Participants desiring audio only should dial 800-939-9838 or 323-794-2570.

A replay of the webcast will be available approximately two hours after the call concludes via the same link on Blue Bird’s website.

About Blue Bird Corporation

Blue Bird is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 570,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts.

As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability.

Blue Bird is also the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. www.blue-bird.com