Lookin' to jazz up your chassis? J.B. Poindexter (JBPCO) manufactures commercial truck and step-van bodies and installs them on ready-made truck chassis (by Ford, Freightliner, and Workhorse) through its Morgan and Morgan Olson divisions. JBPCO's Truck Accessories Group (TAG) makes such products as hard pickup truck caps and tonneaus, under brand names Leer, LoRider, and others. The company's Specialty Manufacturing division provides precision machining services for specialty vehicles -- limousines and funeral coaches -- through subsidiaries Federal Coach, Eagle Coach, MIC, and EFP. JBPCO customers have included GM, Ryder, Penske, UPS, and Frito-Lay. Chairman and CEO John B. Poindexter owns the company.
The economic downturn coupled with restricted access to credit markets has taken a toll on JBPCO. The truck body and parts, and components business segments tied to the transportation industry have been particularly crippled in 2008 and 2009. Sales to rental companies, such as AMERCO's U-Haul International; leasing companies, such as Penske Truck Leasing; and operators of fleets of delivery vehicles, such as FedEx and UPS, as well as truck dealers have experienced heavy deterioration. Since 2006, JBPCO has suffered an accelerated year-over-year decline in consolidated sales; the largest decrease, in 2009 from 2008, was more than 30%. Eroded income resulted in a cash flow trickle of about $29 million in 2009 compared to more than $45 million in 2008. JBPCO earnings, which fell modestly into the red in 2007, tumbled to nearly a $5 million loss in 2009.
The company has moved to regain its financial footing by winning work formerly held by less sustainable rivals. JBPCO's 10 most significant customers account for slightly less than 40% of sales (44% in 2008); two of whom account for more than 20%. Simultaneously, it has cut costs by consolidating manufacturing operations, including those of its funeral service vehicles (Federal Coach and Eagle Coach), and divesting the Specialty Vehicle division's bus business in late 2009. The company managed to reduce general and administrative expenses by roughly 25% in 2009 from 2008 (about 10% of sales), much of which was felt by its employees. JBPCO shed more than 30% of its workforce during 2007 through 2009. As a result of these hard choices, quarterly results released in 2010 are signaling a robust rebound in earnings.
J.B. Poindexter began as a private equity investment firm in 1983. It transitioned into an investment partner before becoming a diversified manufacturing corporation. – less