The earnings results also beat Wall Street consensus analyst estimates of $1.40 per share.
Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec also affirmed its 2013 guidance for earnings per diluted share of about $5.85, with revenue expected to be up about 8%-to-10% for the year.
Wabtec President and CEO Albert J. Neupaver said, "We're off to a good start in 2013, even with a global economy that is slowly recovering. Over time, as countries around the world invest in their freight rail and passenger transportation systems, we expect to continue to benefit from our diverse business model. We remain focused on executing our strategic growth initiatives, and on rigorous application of the Wabtec Performance System to drive productivity and cost improvements."
The company reported a record operating margin of 16.8%, according to KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts Steve Barger and Tejas Patel. In a note to clients Wednesday, the analysts said, "Despite a 23% decline in revenues in the higher margined Freight segment (50% of total revenues), WAB's operating margins expanded by 70 basis points year-over-year, implying strong margins at the Transit segment."