Navistar Falls After Surprise Loss Amid U.S. Investigation

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Navistar International Corp., the truckmaker that counts Carl Icahn as its biggest investor, fell after reporting a third-quarter loss when analysts had projected a profit.

The shares slid 4.3 percent to $16.61 at the close in New York for the biggest one-day decline since Aug. 4. The Lisle, Illinois-based company’s stock has dropped 50 percent this year.

Navistar reported a loss of $28 million, or 34 cents a share, in the quarter ended July 31, widening from $2 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. The average estimate of eight analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for net income of $14.4 million. Sales were $2.54 billion, compared with the $2.82 billion average of 12 estimates.

“We’re not standing still and we continue to take actions to improve both the revenue and cost sides of the business,” Chief Executive Officer Troy Clarke said in the statement.

Navistar said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent Wells Notices on Aug. 13 and Aug. 17 indicating a possible enforcement action in connection with a formal order of investigation from July 2012. Penalties for SEC violations may include an injunction, a cease-and-desist order and fines, the company said.

The truckmaker, which has been restructuring its North American business, has reported losses in 12 straight quarters after a failed bet on an emissions strategy sapped sales. Navistar said Wednesday that it expects cash flow to be positive next year.

Navistar forecast earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization this quarter of $175 million to $225 million, excluding some costs. The average of nine analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for Ebitda of $202 million.

David Leiker, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., said the forecast was “meaningfully below” his firm’s estimate of $237 million. He rates the shares neutral.

Billionaire investor Icahn had a stake of almost 20 percent in the company as of June 30.

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