While US equity markets are indefatiguable (if you don’t look at the Dow), amid a record spike in earnings expectations – that will never go down again… ever – it appears, Daimler may have just become the first to break the narrative (as real world trade war impacts come home), lowering its earnings potential for the year, citing increased import tariffs for US vehicles into the Chinese market for fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs.
Full Statement from Daimler:
Today, due to current developments, Daimler AG has made a new assessment of the earnings potential for the year 2018.
From today’s perspective, the decisive factor is that, at Mercedes-Benz Cars, fewer than expected SUV sales and higher than expected costs – not completely passed on to the customers – must be assumed because of increased import tariffs for US vehicles into the Chinese market.
This effect cannot be fully compensated by the reallocation of vehicles to other markets. As another decisive factor, a negative effect on earnings is to be expected in the second half of the year in connection with the new certification process WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure). Furthermore, earnings at Mercedes-Benz Vans are affected in connection with the recall of diesel vehicles. Additionally, earnings at Daimler Buses are negatively affected by the declining demand in Latin America.
As a result, Daimler has now the following expectations for EBIT (the operating result EBIT represents earnings before interest and taxes) in the year 2018:
Mercedes-Benz Cars: slightly below the previous year,
Mercedes-Benz Vans: significantly below the previous year’s level,
Daimler Buses: in the magnitude of the previous year and
Daimler Group: slightly below the previous year’s level.
And just like that the smoke and mirrors of unshakable EPS growth are blown away and smashed as the reality of escalating trade war rhetoric bubbles up to the real world with automakers the first to start cutting EPS expectations.
Here’s who else will be next as the CEOs and investors come to terms with the reality of trade wars.