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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight-car component demand drives Wabtec's quarterly earnings


During the first quarter, a stronger-than-expected freight-car market helped Wabtec Corp. offset soft passenger-car aftermarket sales and order delays.

On April 17, Wabtec reported first-quarter earnings per diluted share of 13 cents compared with adjusted earnings per diluted share of 5 cents in first-quarter 2002.

The supplier's freight group increased quarterly sales 13 percent because of higher demand for new rail-car components. In the first quarter, car builders delivered 6,614 units compared with 3,855 units during the same 2002 period.

However, sales decreased 32 percent for Wabtec's transit group, reflecting the completion of a major original equipment contract in 2002 and lower aftermarket sales, according to a prepared statement.

"We continue to be optimistic about the future, based on our expectation that the locomotive market will grow in 2004 and the transit industry will rebound in 2005," said Wabtec President and Chief Executive Officer Gregory Davies. "As these market recoveries take shape, we will continue to benefit from the efficiency gains and cost reductions we have made during the past several years, as evidenced by our strong earnings growth and margin improvement in the first quarter."

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More News from 4/17/2003