Even with recent 3Q loss, Blue Bird (BLBD) is still on the Rise

Stephen L Kanaval  |

Blue Bird Corporation (BLBD) closed the week up +2.48% and at one of the highest price points in years. The Fort Valley, Georgia bus manufacturer released 3Q earnings and reported a loss of 13 cents per share. Yet, the stock went higher anyway and the stock’s resilient rise might not be attributed just to the oncoming school year. The 11% increase over the last twelve months might be about the company’s focus on cash management and their dedication to their propane-powered bus line.

The company was bought out by American Securities LLC back in June (they own a 57% stake), which we covered here at Equities. At the time of the acquisition, it was clear that American Securities, a leading investment institution with $15 billion under its control, liked what it saw in BLBD. Kevin Penn, the Managing Director at American, said this about the classic Georgia manufacturer at the time of the deal: “We have admired Blue Bird’s focus on operational execution, growth and profitability for some time and we think the company is well-situated to build upon its current market position. Blue Bird is a company with an iconic brand and quality workforce that is truly a leader in the school bus business. We believe it is a great long-term investment and are excited about the next chapter of growth together.”

Many headlines today were focused on the company’s profit loss, which had mostly to do with lowered prices per unit and the EPA’s delay in the company’s gasoline exclusive bus. However, the company sold more buses this quarter than last year and total net sales were up 23%, while propane-powered bus sales increased 92% from this time last year.

Lastly, in late July, the company released the Vision Gen 4 Propane bus for visitors at the STN Expo in Reno, Nevada. The drive train and low emission levels impressed school system representatives and transportation directors and a few went on record. The bus is clearly BLBD’s vision of how education will look in the future: clean, safe, efficient, and reliable.

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
BLBD Blue Bird Corporation 19.35 0.07 0.36 96,494 Trade



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