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Trimble tops revenue and earnings-per-share expectations

Trimble’s transportation segment reports 20% decline

Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ: TRMB) reported on Wednesday third-quarter transportation revenue of $158.9 million, down 20% compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Overall, the company produced $792.1 million in revenue, with earnings per share of 34 cents. Earnings per share, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 60 cents per share.

Wall Street’s outlook was for earnings of 42 cents per share and revenue of $719.7 million.

“The resilience of our team, the quality of our strategy and the strength of our financial model enabled us to outperform our own expectations in the third quarter,” said Rob Painter, Trimble’s president and chief executive officer, during an earnings call Wednesday. “Our long-term conviction remains strong. We will balance cost containment and investment and innovation during the downturn.”

Sunnyvale, California-based Trimble is a provider of technology solutions for trucking companies, freight brokerages and third-party logistics providers.

Trimble also reported third-quarter net income of $84.7 million, up 7.7% compared to the third quarter of 2019.

North America was Trimble’s largest market by revenue during the third quarter, with $415 million, down 5% compared with the previous year. Europe was the second-largest market at $223 million, a 9% increase compared to 2019.

The Asia-Pacific region topped $106 million, the largest year-over-year increase in revenue at 16%.

The company’s transportation segment continues to be impacted by the ongoing global economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

In September, Trimble’s transportation group laid off an undisclosed number of employees amid ongoing challenges tied to the pandemic, new business strategies and the company’s electronic logging device (ELD) integration, officials said.

“With these difficult decisions behind us, we can now see the path for improved performance in 2021 as compared to the second half of 2020,” Painter said. “At the macro level, market conditions have begun to improve in the transportation market with higher asset utilization, improved spot prices and increasing capital investment.”

While company officials said they were optimistic that market conditions “will support sustained growth through 2021,” they did not provide guidance for the fourth quarter.  

David Barnes, Trimble’s chief financial officer, said the company continues to face significant uncertainty and market demand across the industry sectors it serves.

“With the rate of COVID-19 infection increasing in many countries, our customers face renewed risks of work restrictions stemming from governmental rules to curb the spread of the virus,” Barnes said. “The pace of the recovery in the broader economy remains uncertain. As a result, we still don’t have sufficient clarity and user demand to enable us to give guidance.”

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact