UPDATE 2-Daimler cuts trucks outlook, to take airbag recall charge

Fri May 20, 2016 4:07am EDT
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* Daimler lowers 2016 trucks outlook on weak markets

* To take about 500 mln euro charge for airbag recall

* Says still sees slightly higher 2016 EBIT (Adds market reaction, analysts' comments)

FRANKFURT, May 20 (Reuters) - Daimler cut its profit forecast for its trucks division due to slumping sales in the United States and Brazil, sparking analyst concerns over its ability to read the market.

Daimler Trucks said late on Thursday it expected earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from continued operations and unit sales to fall significantly in 2016.

It had previously expected EBIT from ongoing operations to remain steady at 2015 levels and unit sales to fall slightly.

"Daimler has finally decided to change its unrealistic guidance for trucks, which has not done any good to improve credibility over the last few months," Citi analyst Michael Tyndall said in a note on Friday.

Daimler Trucks accounted for about a fifth of group EBIT and about a quarter of total sales last year.

The North American heavy-duty trucks segment has cooled after a plunge in oil prices and metals-related business put a damper on industrial activity and haulage volumes prompting rival like Volvo to warn investors about a downturn.   Continued...