Sales during the period were $144.2 million, up 14.4% from the third quarter of 2013. Net income totaled $3.2 million, or 9 cents per share, versus $0.6 million, or 2 cents per share, the previous year. For the first nine months of 2014, Spartan reported net income of $1.3 million, or 4 cents per share, compared to a loss of $3 million, 9 cents per share a year ago.
“Spartan’s continuing focus on operational improvement and executing our DRIVE strategy resulted in solid performance in the third quarter. All three segments were profitable and reported higher operating income compared to the third quarter of 2013,” stated John Sztykiel, Spartan CEO.
Sales for the Specialty Chassis & Vehicles segment increased 10.2% to $31.1 million from $28.2 million due to sales growth in the motorhome and bus chassis, and Isuzu operations. Motorhome chassis revenue increased to $23.4 million from $21.1 million as a more favorable product mix of higher-content chassis more than offset a slight reduction in units produced – 218 versus 225 chassis.
In addition to higher motorhome and bus chassis revenue, customer orders for motorhome chassis increased during the third quarter of 2014, indicating RV manufacturers have reduced their finished goods inventories. Other specialty vehicle revenues increased 43.4% to $2.5 million due to higher Isuzu contract manufacturing activity.
Other third-quarter highlights included:
• Gross margin in the third quarter rose to 14% versus 12.8%.
• Operating income of $4.3 million versus $1.8 million.
• New order intake totaled $130.5 million compared to $121.0 million, up 7.9%.
• Order backlog decreased to $233.4 million at Sept. 30, 2014, from $242.7 million at Dec. 31, 2013.