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Navistar International Corporation (NAV - Analyst Report) is expected to release its fourth quarter 2012 before the market opens on December 19. The company posted a loss of $1.48 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, ended on July 31, 2012. The loss was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39 per share.

In the upcoming quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company is a loss of $1.08 per share, reflecting an annualized estimated decline of 132.19%.

With respect to earnings surprise, the company has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and outperformed in the other. With this, the company has delivered an average earnings surprise of -287.28%, implying that it has missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by that measure.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for full-year 2012 is a loss of $4.14, implying an estimated year-over-year decline of 178.41%. The downside potential of the fourth quarter and full year estimates, essentially a proxy for future earnings surprises, is about 46.06% and 93.15%, respectively.

Third Quarter Review

Navistar recorded a loss of $86.00 million (excluding an income tax benefit and costs related to non-conformance penalties) in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 in sharp contrast to a profit of $46.00 million in the corresponding quarter of 2011 (excluding the benefit from income tax valuation allowance and costs related to restructuring of North American operations).

Revenues declined 6% to $3.32 billion in the quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.03 billion. The year-over-year decline in revenues was due to lower revenues from the company's Truck and Engine segments in the U.S. and Canada.

Revenues from the Truck segment went down 5% to $2.34 billion, due to a fall in military sales and traditional volumes. Revenues from the Engine segment fell 13% to $840.00 million, driven by lower sales volumes in South America due to pre-purchase of pre-Euro V emissions engines. Revenues from the Parts segment climbed 5% to $542.00 million while the same from the Financial Services segment slipped 12% to $64.00 million.

Estimate Revisions Trend

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter has remained stable over the past 30 days. Let us discuss the agreement and magnitude of estimate revisions.

Agreement of Estimate Revisions

Over the last 60 days, 3 out of 15 analysts covering the stock have revised the estimates downward for the upcoming quarter while none moved it upward. Over the last 30 days and last 7 days, none of the analysts covering the stock have revised the estimates upward or downward for the fourth quarter, implying the lack of near-term catalysts for the stock.

Over the last 60 days, 1 out of 8 analysts covering the stock has revised the estimates downward and another moved it upward for 2012. Over the last 30 days and last 7 days, none of the analyst revised the estimates upward or downward for the year.

Magnitude of Estimate Revisions

Following the third quarter earnings release, estimates for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 decreased by 6 cents to a loss of $1.08 and 5 cents to a loss of $4.14, respectively.

Our Take

Warrenville, Illinois-based Navistar International manufactures and sells commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines, buses, military vehicles and chassis for motor homes and step-vans. It also provides service parts for various trucks and trailers.

Navistar benefits from the leading market position in the global truck market beside Daimler AG (DDAIF) and PACCAR Inc. (PCAR - Analyst Report). The company also enjoys a steady stream of revenues from government contracts. However, we are concerned about the significant supplier risk, owing to higher dependence on few suppliers of components together with its mounting research and development expenses on the back of stricter regulations by the government.

Currently, Navistar retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating. This is also reflected in our long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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