Commercial vehicle driveline supplier Dana Inc. (NYSE: DAN) beat top and bottom line analyst expectations in Q1 despite supply chain constraints and rising commodity prices.

The Maumee, Ohio-based company experienced less exposure to the global semiconductor shortage than it expected.

“We saw our customers diverting chips toward the key truck platforms that we produce,” Jonathan Collins, Dana’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said on the company’s earnings call Wednesday.

The ongoing microchip constraint might sting a little more in the current quarter, and $125 million in additional commodity costs dinged profit margins.

“We had to incur some premium freight [charges] well above what we normally would,” Collins said. “Our operations are less efficient when we are sitting around waiting for parts. Running overtime and other factors drive that as well.”

Demand, especially for heavy- and medium-duty truck components and systems, outpaced the higher costs.

“We saw both heavy- and medium-duty vehicles do a bit better than we had anticipated,” Collins said. “The rebound of Class 8 truck sales continues as we’re expecting [full-year] production to be around 300,000 units.”

By the numbers

Dana reported sales of $2.26 billion compared to $1.93 billion, an increase of $337 million over the prior-year quarter. Adjusted net income was $97 million versus $66 million, an increase of $29 million over a year ago. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of 48 cents was up 8 cents year-over-year.

A consensus of analysts surveyed by investor site Seeking Alpha expected EPS of 47 cents and revenue of $1.96 billion.

Dana’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $234 million or 10.3% of sales compared to $205 million for the same period in 2020.

The quarter would have been better without the microchip shortage and higher prices for steel, aluminum and other commodities. Dana recovers most of the cost by charging higher prices, but the portion of the increases the company absorbed reduced profits by about half a percentage point, Collins said.

Dana raised its full-year financial guidance: It now expects sales of $8.50 billion to $9 billion — $500 million above its earlier estimate. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to fall between $920 million and $1 billion. At the midpoint, EBITDA would equal 11% of sales. Diluted adjusted per-share earnings should range between $2.10 and $2.80, an increase of 20 cents.

Electrification aspirations

Dana is investing globally to grow its electrification manufacturing, adding 250,000 square feet of new capacity in China, India and the United Kingdom.

“By expanding our electrification manufacturing footprint, not only are we installing the capacity to support current and future volumes, we are also strengthening our electrification design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities,” James Kamsickas, Dana chairman and CEO, said on the call.

The company claims to offer the only complete, fully integrated electrified system across all its markets — light vehicles, commercial and off-highway vehicles. Much of that has occurred through acquisitions. 

For example, Dana in March purchased the 51% of Pi Innovo Holding Limited it did not already own. Pi Innovo designs, develops and manufactures electronic control units across a range of applications and industries. The total purchase price was $35 million. 

Dana expects profit margins in the 12% range in the next few years and projects adding $1 billion to sales, much of it in the electrification space like its $200 million contract to electrify Kenworth and Peterbilt medium-duty trucks for PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR).

“We’re producing the complete electrified powertrain, not only the electric driveline but also the e-power system and the full embedded software and vehicle controls,” Kamsickas said.

Related articles:

Dana books half of $700M backlog from electrification contracts

Dana builds electrification vertical for commercial vehicles

CES 2020: Kenworth collaborates with Dana  on medium-duty electric truck

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.