Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wabtec shows strength in first quarter; credits transit backlog

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Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $32.7 million, or 68 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with $32.5 million, or 66 cents, during the first quarter of 2008. That beat Wall Street analyst estimates averaging 58 cents per share, and helped send Wabtec shares higher in Wednesday trade.

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First-quarter sales slipped to $378 million compared with $383 million in last year’s first quarter, and Wabtec’s earnings guidance said the company expected full-year sales to be slightly below 2008 levels.

The company nonetheless affirmed its earnings forecast for the year of between $2.45 and $2.75 per share, noting that rail transit demand is healthy.

“Our transit backlog gives us solid visibility in that segment through 2009, while the outlook in freight remains uncertain due to the weak global economy," said Wabtec President and CEO Albert J. Neupaver in a statement.