Feb 7, 2019

Cummins posts lower profits after CEO's tariff warning

Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. engine maker Cummins on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and forecast full-year sales below analysts' estimates, Reuters reports.

The state of play: The news plays out almost exactly as CEO Tom Linebarger warned in a July New York Times op-ed. "These tariffs put us in a worse position now than when we started these negotiations, and we are concerned there is no end in sight," he wrote. "Because of this uncertainty, companies like ours are standing still, unclear on how and where to invest."

What it means: Cummins' soft guidance further amplifies concerns of a slowdown in sales of heavy-duty trucks in North America.

  • As we noted in late January, truck shipments' year-over-year growth fell in December for the first time since 2016. Truck shipments are thought to be a leading indicator of the economy's health as they're very sensitive to market fears.
  • Cummins said Wednesday it expects 2019 production of heavy-duty trucks in North America to rise just 2%, a significant pullback from the nearly 30% growth the industry chalked up last year.

Don't forget: The company's stock dropped 11.5% in December and fell 24% in 2018.

Go deeper: Trucking's troubles could preview an economic downturn

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Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.

New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a coronavirus media update at the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

AUCKLAND -- New Zealand has flattened the curve of novel coronavirus cases after two weeks of lockdown and the next phase is to "squash it," Professor Shaun Hendy, who heads a scientific body advising the government on COVID-19, told Axios.

Why it matters: The country imposed 14 days ago some of the toughest restrictions in the world in response to the pandemic, despite confirming only 102 cases and no deaths at the time.

Go deeperArrow52 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 1,431,375 — Total deaths: 82,145 — Total recoveries: 301,543Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 a.m. ET: 399,886 — Total deaths: 12,910 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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