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Rail News: Financials

Second-quarter financial scorecard: Wabtec increases sales, reduces debt


Last week, Wabtec Corp. reported a boost in second-quarter sales and earnings because of strong demand for freight cars and locomotives, and a growing aftermarket for passenger-rail cars.

The locomotive and car component supplier increased quarterly sales 18 percent compared with second-quarter 2003, with freight and transit group sales rising 14 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Quarterly net income of $9 million increased 65 percent compared with second-quarter 2003's $5.5 million.

During the quarter, Wabtec reduced debt (net of cash) by $37 million, primarily by generating cash from operations. On June 30, the company's debt totaled $95 million compared with $132 million on March 31.

"We're pleased with our second-quarter operating performance, especially our strong cash flow generation," said Wabtec Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William Kassling in a prepared statement. "Throughout the year, we have seen sustained growth in freight rail traffic."

Quarterly operating expenses increased slightly to $34.6 million compared with last year's $34.2 million as lower amortization costs helped offset higher insurance and medical premiums.