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Rail News: Financials

Wabtec registers more sales, boosts earnings in 2005

Yesterday, Wabtec Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings per diluted share of 34 cents, a 70 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2004 and the company’s seventh-straight quarterly earnings gain.

Quarterly net sales totaling $270 million rose 20 percent primarily because of increased freight-car and locomotive component sales and the CoFren acquisition, which closed in first-quarter 2005. Quarterly net income of $16.3 million increased 75 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2004 and Wabtec’s debt (net of cash) stood at $8 million on Dec. 31 compared with $54.9 million on Dec. 31, 2004.

In addition, operating expenses as a percentage of sales were 14.9 percent compared with 17.6 percent in fourth-quarter 2004. However, Wabtec reported a quarterly loss from discontinued operations of $1.6 million primarily from liquidating a bus door joint venture in China.

For the full year, the company reported earnings per diluted share of $1.17, up 65 percent compared with 2004. Net sales rose 26 percent to $1 billion and net income increased 77 percent to $55.8 million.

“Our balance sheet is strong and we have the financial flexibility to invest in future growth opportunities, both internally and through acquisitions,” said Wabtec Chairman William Kassling in a prepared statement. “With our multi-year backlog over $1 billion, including option orders, we are optimistic about our future prospects.”

Wabtec subsidiaries supply locomotive, freight-car and transit vehicle components; build switchers and commuter locomotives; and provide locomotive and car aftermarket services.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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