Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Transit market buoys Wabtec fourth-quarter profit

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Crediting strength in its transit and transportation markets, Wilmerding, Pa.-based Wabtec Corp. Wednesday said it posted fourth-quarter net income of $31.1 million, or 64 cents per share, on sales of $405.2 million. That compares with net income of $28.7 million, or 58 cents per share, on sales of $365.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, or a 9% jump in fourth-quarter profit. Per-share results were short of analyst expectations of 65 cents per share on revenue of $391 million.

Wabtec’s net income for the year was $130.6 million, or $2.67 per share, up 19% from $109.6 million, or $2.23 per share, a year earlier, while revenue rose to $1.57 billion from $1.36 billion a year ago. Per-share earnings nearly equaled analyst expectations of $2.68.

Wabtec also affirmed its earnings guidance of $2.45 to $2.75 per share in 2009.

"We finished 2008 on a positive note due partly to continued strength in our transit markets even as demand softened dramatically in certain segments of the global freight rail market," said Albert J. Neupaver, president and chief executive, in a statement. "With uncertain economic conditions continuing around the world, we do not expect demand to improve in the short term and are taking appropriate actions to reduce our costs," he said.

Wabtec noted it completed its $300 million acquisition of Standard Car Truck during the fourth quarter.