Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wabtec's 2010 forecast: "Flat to slightly up"

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For the full year 2009, Wabtec Corp. Tuesday reported earnings per diluted share of $2.39, on sales of $1.4 billion. "The company generated strong cash flow from operations of $161 million, or 11.5%, marking the 12th consecutive year that Wabtec's cash flow from operations exceeded net income," said Wabtec. "At year-end, the company had cash of $189 million and debt of $392 million. With its strong balance sheet and cash flow, Wabtec believes it has ample capacity to invest in future growth opportunities."

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In the fourth quarter, earnings per diluted share were 56 cents, excluding a previously announced charge of 6 cents for an arbitration ruling. Including the charge, earnings per diluted share were 50 cents, failing to meet Wall Street's 56 cents estimate. Sales decreased to $359 million, as increased sales in the Transit Group were offset by lower sales in the Freight Group. Compared to the third quarter of 2009, sales were 9% higher, with both groups showing an increase.

In the fourth quarter, Wabtec completed the acquisition of Unifin International, a manufacturer of cooling systems and related equipment for the power generation and transmission industry, for $93 million.

Wabtec affirmed its 2010 earnings per diluted share guidance of $2.35-$2.50, with revenue expected to be flat to slightly up.

Albert J. Neupaver, Wabtec's president and chief executive officer, said: "Faced with very challenging market conditions in 2009, the company performed well, generating strong cash flow from operations and improving margins, after adjusting for one-time items. These results were due to our diversified business model and the hard work of employees at all levels of the company. Market conditions will continue to be challenging in 2010, but we expect to benefit from our 2009 restructuring actions and other growth initiatives. We are optimistic about the company's future growth opportunities around the world, given our strong balance sheet, diversified business model, and continued application of the Wabtec Performance System principles."