CNH Global N.V. has reported a fourth-quarter 2004 net income of $26 million, compared to a fourth quarter 2003 net loss of $111 million. These results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $22 million and $140 million, respectively, in the two periods. Fourth quarter 2004 basic earnings per share were $.19, compared to a net loss of $.84 per share in the fourth quarter of 2003.

For the full year, CNH's net income of $125 million in 2004 compares to a net loss of $157 million in 2003. These results include restructuring charges, net of tax, of $68 million and $187 million, respectively, in the two periods. Basic earnings per share for the year were $.94, compared to a net loss of $1.19 per share in 2003.



Excluding restructuring charges, net of tax, CNH reported net income of $193 million in 2004, compared to net income of $30 million in 2003. This $163 million year-over-year improvement exceeded the company's expectations. The improvement was achieved despite lower fourth-quarter sales of agricultural equipment, primarily due to overall destocking of dealer and company inventories, mainly of combines in North America following the closure of the East Moline assembly plant.



Net sales of agricultural equipment of $1.9 billion for the quarter were at approximately the same level as in the fourth quarter of 2003, but down about 5 percent excluding currency variations.



In the fourth quarter, CNH estimates that worldwide industry unit sales of agricultural tractors were up approximately 10 percent and combine sales were up about 15 percent. Industry sales of over-40 horsepower tractors were up approximately 26 percent in North America, 18 percent in Rest-of-World markets and 8 percent in Latin America, but were down 1 percent in Western Europe. Industry sales of combines were up 43 percent in North America, which was significantly stronger than expected, 34 percent in Rest-of-World markets and 17 percent in Western Europe. In Latin America, industry sales of combines through September were up approximately 30 percent from the same period in 2003. However, in the fourth quarter, Latin American industry sales of combines declined approximately 10 percent. In total, fourth quarter worldwide industry unit sales of agricultural equipment increased year-over-year by approximately 10 percent.



Total retail unit sales of CNH agricultural equipment also increased in the quarter, in line with the global market. Increases in CNH's retail unit sales in the Americas and Rest-of-World markets were offset by declines in Western Europe. CNH under-produced its retail unit sales of agricultural equipment by approximately 20 percent in the quarter, reducing worldwide dealer and company inventories of tractors and combines (destocking) by approximately 15 percent.



Source: Company Release