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10/15/2003



Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

After promising third quarter, Wabtec expects even better end to 2003


On Oct. 15, Wabtec Corp. reported a 4 percent increase in third-quarter sales compared with the same 2002 period. Freight Group sales increased 16 percent, primarily because of rising rail-car component and commuter locomotive orders, while Transit Group sales decreased 21 percent because of weaker aftermarket demand, according to a prepared statement.

During the quarter, the company also increased "other income" $843,000, and reduced debt from $194 million (50 percent of capital) to $164 million
(42 percent of total capital) compared with third-quarter 2002.

"We had solid earnings for the third quarter and generated $9 million in cash," said Wabtec Chairman William Kassling. "We expect to finish the year strongly."

During the fourth quarter, Wabtec expects to continue increasing earnings based on its current backlog and projected new business.

"In the Freight Group, we expect industry freight-car deliveries to be as much as 20 percent higher than 2003, which should finish around 30,000 units," said Wabtec President and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Davies. "And we’re forecasting even stronger growth in the new locomotive market, with deliveries expected to exceed 1,000 next year, compared to about 700 in 2003."


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