Ryder System Inc., the largest U.S. truck-leasing company, said third-quarter earnings were less than it forecast as the economy weakened beyond housing and reduced demand for freight-hauling trucks. The shares fell the most since 2004.
Profit was $1.12 to $1.14 a share, Miami-based Ryder said in a statement today. The forecast before the preliminary results had been $1.20 to $1.23. Ryder also said it's trimming 300 jobs.
Ryder said the economy ``softened considerably in more industries'' and hurt its fleet-management unit, which generated 62 percent of first-half sales. Customers of the division, which leases trucks and sells services such as fueling and maintenance, include companies such as Home Depot Inc. and Domino's Pizza Inc., Key Capital Markets analyst Todd Fowler said.
Ryder is the second largest rental/leasing company behind Hertz. Hertz is about three times as large, however giving them a big advantage.
The drop is far from devastating for the company. A move from $1.20 to $1.12 a share is hardly the sign of financial Armageddon. But, it does confirm the economy is not going gangbusters, but instead has some pretty strong headwinds to overcome right now.