MACON, Ga. — Blue Bird Corporation (“Blue Bird”) (Nasdaq: BLBD), the leader in electric and low-emission school buses, announced today its fiscal 2024 first quarter results.
“I am incredibly proud of our team’s continued progress in delivering record financial results in the first quarter,” said Phil Horlock, CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “The Blue Bird team executed a rigorous transformational plan over the past two years to improve operations and throughput, control fixed costs, recover economics through pricing and expand our leadership position in alternative-powered buses. The market demand for our school buses remains very strong with approximately 4,600 units in our order backlog. Unit sales in the quarter were up 9% from a year ago and we grew revenue by an exceptional 35%, to $318 million. Adjusted EBITDA was an all-time quarterly record of $48 million, reflecting a 15% margin, which is an outstanding increase of $51 million compared with last year.
In expanding our leadership position in alternative-powered school buses, we achieved another record quarter of deliveries of our zero-emission EV buses. Additionally, at quarter-end, we had more than 400 electric school bus orders in our backlog. We saw strong growth in EV orders from the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which awarded nearly $1 billion in funding from Phase 1 of its $5 billion program in 2023. We are excited for new EV orders over the next year from the recently-announced Phase 2 (A and B) of the 5-year program, which provides at least $1.5 billion in grant and rebate funding for electric school buses. We’ve been working aggressively with our dealers and school districts in submitting applications and we are confident that continued, exciting growth is ahead for Blue Bird on the EV front!
Based on our strong start to the year and additional visibility into the 2024 operating environment, we have increased our full year financial guidance for Adjusted EBITDA to $130 million, with an 11% margin, which will be an all-time record for Blue Bird, and look forward to sustained profitable growth in the coming years, particularly as the global supply-chain recovery progresses.”
FY2024 Guidance Increased
“We are very pleased with the first quarter results, with an all-time record Adj. EBITDA margin,” said Razvan Radulescu, CFO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Our business transformation continues to yield great results, and ahead of plan. With better line-of-sight into 2024, we are raising our fiscal 2024 full-year guidance to Net Revenue to $1.15-1.25 Billion, Adj. EBITDA of $120-140 million and Adj. Free Cash Flow of $60-70 million. Additionally, we are reconfirming our long-term outlook of profitable growth towards ~$2 billion in revenues and Adjusted EBITDA margins of 12%+.”
Fiscal 2024 First Quarter Results
Net sales were $317.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2024, an increase of $81.9 million, or 34.8%, from the first quarter of last year. Bus sales increased $80.2 million, reflecting a 26.5% increase in average sales price per unit, resulting from pricing actions taken by management as well as product and customer mix changes, and an 8.8% increase in units booked. In the first quarter of fiscal 2024, 2,129 units were booked compared with 1,957 units booked for the same period in fiscal 2023. Additionally, Parts sales increased $1.7 million, or 7.7%, for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2023. This increase is primarily attributed to price increases, driven by ongoing inflationary pressures, as well as higher fulfillment volumes and slight variations due to product and channel mix.
First quarter gross profit of $63.6 million represented an increase of $56.1 million from the first quarter of last year. The increase was primarily driven by the $81.9 million increase in net sales, discussed above, as well as an increase of $25.8 million in cost of goods sold. The increase in cost of goods sold was primarily by the 8.8% increase in units booked, as well as increased raw material costs resulting from ongoing inflationary pressures.
Net income was $26.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2024, which was a $37.4 million increase from the first quarter of last year. The increase was primarily driven by the $56.1 million increase in gross profit, discussed above. Partially offsetting this was the corresponding $11.4 million increase in income tax expense, as well as an increase of $8.8 million in SG&A, which was primarily due to an increase in labor costs.
Adjusted Net Income
Adjusted net income was $29.7 million, representing an increase of $39.4 million compared with the same period last year, primarily due to the $37.4 million increase in net income, discussed above.
Adjusted EBITDA was $47.6 million, which was an increase of $51.1 million compared with the first quarter last year. This increase primarily results from the $37.4 million increase in net income as a result of the factors discussed above, as well as the corresponding $11.4 million increase in income tax expense.
Conference Call Details
Blue Bird will discuss its first quarter 2024 results in a conference call at 4:30 PM ET today. 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 log on 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 404-975-4839 or 833-470-1428
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 (NASDAQ: BLBD) is recognized as a technology leader and innovator of school buses since its founding in 1927. Our dedicated team members design, engineer and manufacture school buses with a singular focus on safety, reliability, and durability. School buses carry the most precious cargo in the world — 25 million children twice a day — making them the most trusted mode of student transportation. The company is the proven leader in low- and zero-emission school buses with more than 20,000 propane, natural gas, and electric powered buses in operation today. Blue Bird is transforming the student transportation industry through cleaner energy solutions. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete product and service portfolio, visit www.blue-bird.com.