Shares of Blue Bird Corp. BLBD, -0.46% rallied 12.6% after hours on Thursday after the school-bus manufacturer raised its sales outlook, said a turnaround plan was “ahead of schedule” and reported fiscal second-quarter results that beat expectations. The company boosted its full year-sales outlook to just over $1.1 billion, compared with FactSet estimates for $1.018 billion and a forecast in February for “just over” $1 billion. For its second quarter, Blue Bird reported net income of $7.1 million, or 22 cents a share, contrasting with a loss of $12.1 million, or 38 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue jumped to $299.8 million, compared with $207.7 million in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time charges, Blue Bird earned 27 cents a share, contrasting with a 31-cent per-share loss in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings per share of 8 cents, on sales of $249.5 million. “The team has been executing on a rigorous plan for over 18 months to improve operations, reduce fixed costs, and recover economics through pricing,” Chief Executive Matthew Stevenson said in a statement. “The market demand for Blue Bird’s best-in-class school buses continues to remain strong with nearly 5,800 units in the backlog.”
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