Daimler (DAI) PT Set at €73.00 by Kepler Capital Markets

Darnell Taylor
June 24, 2018

Daimler has said it is considering "possible strategic options" while cutting its profit forecast, following a warning from China that it will impose a tax on U.S. imports.

Daimler's revised forecast comes as US President Donald Trump is proposing to impose tariffs on imported vehicles on grounds that trade imbalances on many products threaten US national security. He threatened further tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods in retaliation. Chinese customers will now buy fewer cars after Beijing slaps retaliatory tariffs on US auto imports, Daimler said in a statement Wednesday.

"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 United States vehicles into the Chinese market", it said in a regulatory filing.

The company said late Wednesday that it now sees fewer SUV sales and higher costs at its Mercedes-Benz Cars division than previously expected as a result of the tariffs, and "this effect can not be fully compensated by the reallocation of vehicles to other markets". The company has said previously the majority of the SUVs it produces in Alabama are exported around the world but declined to provide China-specific data.

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As a result, Daimler said it now predicts its underlying or operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), will be slightly lower than previous year, instead of slightly above as it previously expected.

The statement said: "Furthermore, earnings at Mercedes-Benz Vans are affected in connection with the recall of diesel vehicles".

German auto maker Volkswagen's share price was down by 2.16 per cent in late-afternoon trading, while Daimler's share price was down 3.79 per cent.

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