UPDATE: ERoad shares hit month-high as quarterly US sales accelerate in June
(Recasts on updated share price, adds broker comment)
By Paul McBeth
July 5 (BusinessDesk) - ERoad shares rose to their highest level in a month after posting its fastest quarterly sales growth in the US, where the logistics and fleet management company's high hopes for rapid expansion have been confounded by slow uptake of the new federal compliance regime for electronic logging devices.
The shares jumped 6.7 percent to $1.75, the highest since June 2, after the Auckland-based said it sold 1,321 contracted units in the US in the three months ended June 30, taking its total number of devices to 7,423. That's an annualised increase of 87 percent, accelerating from a pace of 36 percent in the March quarter and equal to 86 percent of the US sales it managed to achieve in the entire March 2017 financial year. ERoad sold 3,090 units in its established New Zealand and Australian markets, with 45,029 contracted units across Australasia, with annualised growth edging up to 30 percent.
Grant Williamson, a director at Hamilton Hindin Greene in Christchurch, said the quarterly sales record was positive for the company, although the share price was coming from a low base.
"The latest positive may have attracted one or two bargain hunters - investors will want to see ongoing improvement in the quarterly numbers," Williamson said.
ERoad chief financial officer said the sales figure represented its "single biggest growth in units for a quarter" since the company was founded in 2000.
The company raised $40 million in an initial public offering in 2014 to provide a funding platform to launch into North America where it created a beachhead in the state of Oregon on the invitation of the state transport office. At the time, Oregon wanted to introduce light vehicle mileage tax in a shift away from fuel tax used to fund roads and highways and was the first in the world to develop a road user charge tax, or vehicle miles travelled tax, which New Zealand has adopted for heavy vehicles.
Those plans changed when US operators put off buying decisions ahead of a December 2017 deadline for commercial drivers to adopt and use electronic logging devices, and ERoad spent the last financial year paving the way to build its sales and marketing capacity in the world's biggest economy to prepare for that timeframe.