Blue Bird Q3 Financial Report
Georgia-based Blue Bird Corporation on Aug. 9 released the results of its 2023 fiscal third quarter, with net sales up 43% to $294.3 million and 2,137 buses sold, completing the company's turnaround and beating guidance.
"I am incredibly proud of the progress by our team in completing our business turnaround, and the outcome of all the hard work is evident in our financial results," said CEO Phil Horlock. "The Blue Bird team has been executing a rigorous planb for over 18 months to improve operations, reduce fixed costs, and recover economics through pricing. The market demand for Blue Bird's school buses remains very strong, with nearly 5,200 units in our order backlog."
The company also expanded its leadership position in zero-emission school buses, Horlock said, with electric vehicle bookings up nearly 150% compared to Q3 2022.
"We have seen steady growth in EV orders from the EPA's 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which awarded nearly $1 billion in funding from Phase 1 of the program," Horlock said. "This funding alone will generate orders for at least 550 Blue Bird buses. In addition, we are excited to see further progress with the announcement of Phase 2 of the program, offering a $400M competitive grant program for electric school buses."
Razvan Radulescu, Blue Bird's chief financial officer, noted that the company's "turnaround is completed and we have returned to historical profitability, and expect further increased performance for fiscal Q4."
Blue Bird Q2 Financial Report
Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ: BLBD) unveiled its second quarter 2023 results this week, reporting net sales of $299.8 million with 2,304 buses sold and a robust backlog of $775 million and nearly 5,800 units.
“I am incredibly proud of the progress that the team has made and we are finally seeing the results of all the hard work in the financials. The team has been executing on a rigorous plan for over 18 months to improve operations, reduce fixed costs, and recover economics through pricing," said Matthew Stevenson, Blue Bird's president and CEO. "The market demand for Blue Bird’s best-in-class school buses continues to remain strong with nearly 5,800 units in the backlog. We also expanded our leadership position in zero-emission school buses, realizing exceptional growth in electric school bus bookings, up 176%, and our firm order backlog, of more than 620 electric school buses, as of the end of April, continues to grow. We have seen steady growth in electric school bus orders from the EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which awarded nearly $1 billion in funding. This funding alone will generate orders for an estimated 500-700 Blue Bird electric buses translating into a minimum of $200 million of additional revenue. Plus we are excited to see progress with the announcement of Phase 2 of the program, offering a $400M competitive grant program for electric school buses.”
Razvan Radulescu, CFO of Blue Bird, stated that the company's "turnaround is working ahead of schedule and we returned to historical profitability already in Q2, and expect further increased performance each quarter." The company expects net revenue for 2023 of more than $1.1 billion.
Net sales were $299.8 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2023, an increase of $92.2 million, or 44.4%, from prior year period. Bus sales increased $85 million, reflecting a 21.6% increase in average sales price per unit, resulting from pricing actions taken by management as well as product and customer mix change, and a 19.3% increase in units booked. In the second quarter of fiscal 2023, 2,304 units were booked compared to 1,931 units booked for the same period in fiscal 2022. The increase in units sold was primarily due to constraints in Blue Bird's ability to produce and deliver buses due to shortages of critical components in the second quarter of fiscal 2022.
Also, parts sales increased $7.2 million, or 37.4%, for the second quarter of fiscal 2023 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2022. This increase is primarily attributed to pricing actions taken to offset increases in purchased parts costs and increased inventory availability as supply chain constraints began to improve slightly during the second quarter of fiscal 2023 relative to the second quarter of fiscal 2022.
Blue Bird Q1 2023 Financial Report
Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) corporate leaders on Feb. 8 reported positive results from their action plan to improve the school bus manufacturer's financial outlook.
"We made remarkable progress in the first quarter, as the overall operating environment continued to improve in line with our plan," said Matthew Stevenson, Blue Bird's CEO and president. "During the quarter we worked through the majority of the legacy-priced units in the backlog that have caused margin compression over the past several quarters. The Blue Bird team continued executing a rigorous plan to improve operations, reduce fixed costs, and recover economics through pricing. Therefore, we are well positioned for a significant recovery over the next several quarters."
Stevenson said that demand is strong for Blue Bird vehicles, with expanded growth in zero-emission school buses, including 130% more in electric school bus bookings, from states such as Nevada, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Utah. The company had more than 385 electric school buses in backlog at the end of Q1.
"Our order backlog will grow considerably over the next several months as orders are placed tied to the EPA's 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which will greatly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission student transportation across all 50 U.S. states," he said.
That EPA funding is expected to yield an estimated 500-700 orders for new Blue Bird electric buses, which could result in $200 million of additional revenue.
Razvan Radulescu, chief financial officer of Blue Bird, said the first-quarter results were exciting and gave reason for optimism. He reported that the company exceeded revenue projections, selling 808 more buses than during the same period in 2022. The company has sold out its Type D bus production slots for 2023, but some Q4 capacity may be reserved for Type C electric school buses.
Especially promising news came from the company's success at charging through production of buses purchased before per-unit prices started going up in 2021. About 36% of production in Q1 fell under the old backlog. In the next quarter, that should drop to 12%, with the bulk of the remaining production falling under the 11-25% higher priced backlog from 2022 and 2023.
"The great news is those (legacy-priced) units are now largely behind us," Stevenson said.