ASV has strong gains
A.S.V., Inc., Grand Rapids, Minn., (Nasdaq:ASVI) posted strong increases in sales and earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2003. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2003 totaled $26.2 million, compared with $11.9 million for the same period in 2002.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2003 were $2.6 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with $179,000, or two cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2002. Diluted shares outstanding totaled 13.5 million shares for the fourth quarter of 2003, a 30% increase compared with diluted shares outstanding of 10.3 million shares for the fourth quarter of 2002.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2003, net sales totaled $96.4 million, compared with $44.2 million for 2002. Net earnings for the year ended Dec. 31, 2003 totaled $8.7 million, or $.78 per share, compared with net earnings of $1.4 million, or $.13 per share for 2002.
ASV’s fourth quarter sales were greater than expected due to increased sales of the company’s RC-30 Posi-Track and greater engine deliveries for its RC-100 Posi-Track, allowing for increased production of this model which remains in a backlogged position, the company said.
During the quarter, undercarriage sales to Caterpillar accounted for approximately 44% of sales, down slightly from the third quarter of 2003, due to the increased sale of ASV products and Caterpillar’s preparation for the second generation Multi-Terrain Loaders that went into production in January 2004.
For the three months ended December 31, 2003, the company’s selling, general and administrative (S, G & A) expenses decreased, as a percentage of net sales, to 6.2%, compared with 11.1% for the same period in 2002.
ASV expects earnings for 2004 to be in the range of 95 cents to $1.17 per share on a diluted basis, up from its previously announced expected range of 85 cents to $1.05 per share. The increase was due primarily to the repurchase of the Caterpillar warrant in January 2004. These increased earnings per share expectations are based on 13.5 million diluted shares outstanding for 2004, a 21% increase compared with the number of diluted shares outstanding for 2003. ASV’s sales for 2004 are expected to be in the range of $130-155 million, an expected increase of 35% to 61% over 2003.
American Busing Plans Acquisition
American Busing Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: ABSC), has signed a letter of intent to acquire King’s Motorsports, Inc., a business operating as Chicago Cycle Center.
Chicago Cycle Center deals in Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Ducati motorcycles and ATVs, and reported 2003 unaudited revenue of approximately $33 million. American Busing, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, W.W. Cycles, doing business as Andrews Cycles, is a retail superstore with core brands that include Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.
The closing of the proposed acquisition is subject to a number of conditions. Andrews Cycles can be found at www.andrewscycles.com.
Aprilia Aims for Efficiency
Italian motorcycle and scooter manufacturer Aprilia, which also owns the Moto Guzzi and Laverda brands, announced a new business plan aimed at restructuring its euro 199 million debt while improving production processes, component outsourcing, and the research and development of new products to reach better operating efficiency, says a report by Italian business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, which also quoted the manufacturer’s desire for additional investors.
Aprilia’s 2003 sales were up 2.8% to euro 539 million, with a break-even operating result.
Japan’s MC Production Down
Japan reportedly produced 159,353 two-wheelers during January 2004, down 17,421 units or 9.9% as compared with the 176,774 total registered in the same month of the previous year, says the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA). January’s total marks a drop in production for 12 consecutive months.
ArvinMeritor Declares Dividend
ArvinMeritor, Inc., declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share, payable Mar. 15, 200, to shareholders of record on Mar. 1, 2004.