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Rail News: Financials

Wabtec increases year-over-year earnings for sixth-straight quarter

On Feb. 18, Wabtec Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings per diluted share of 13 cents and net income of $5.9 million compared with 12 cents and $5.3 million, respectively, during the same 2002 period — the supplier's sixth-straight quarter of year-over-year earning increases.

Wabtec recorded higher-than-expected quarterly sales figures and offered a more favorable product mix, which partially offset lower foreign currency exchange rates, according to a prepared statement.

Quarterly sales of $206 million rose 16 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2002 because of strong freight-car component business in North America and a ballast-car contract obtained in the United Kingdom. Freight and Transit group sales increased 21 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

During 2003, the supplier generated $45 million in cash flow, exceeding its $40 million target.

"We finished 2003 with strong cash flow, which allowed us to generate more than $1 per share in cash for the year," said Wabtec Chairman William Kassling. "Our goal is to continue to generate free cash flow in excess of net income … for debt reduction, accretive acquisitions or other general corporate purposes."

Wabtec expects 2004 sales to total $750 million, increasing between 5 percent and 10 percent in both the Freight and Transit groups.

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