CNH sees softer sales ahead

The Associated Press

CNH Global NV's shares fell Tuesday after the agricultural and equipment maker said it expects a decline in sales volume this year.

The company reported that its agricultural equipment revenue, which makes up the bulk of its business, increased 9 percent during the first quarter on higher prices and improved sales volume. But that was not enough to offset a 26 percent decline in construction equipment revenue due to continued weakness in that sector.

CNH said it now expects agricultural sales volume should be flat to down 5 percent in 2013 and its construction equipment volume is expected to be down 5 to 10 percent.

The company earned $326 million, or $1.33 per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That is compared with $269 million, or $1.11 per share, earned in the first quarter last year. Its revenue increased slightly to $4.95 billion from $4.9 billion.

Analyst polled by FactSet anticipated earnings of $1 per share on revenue of $4.57 billion.

CNH is expected to fully merge with its parent, Italian heavy-duty vehicles maker Fiat Industrial, and later this year. The new entity has yet to be named, but it will be based in the Netherlands.

The company's stock price fell $4.24, more than 9 percent, to close at $41.13. Its stock price, which is quite volatile, rebounded $4.17 to $45.30 in extended trading.