Wabash Reports First-Quarter Loss

Wabash National Corporation had net sales of $242.6 million for the quarter ending March 31, compared with $352.8 million for the same period last year.

The company reported a net loss of $10.4 million for the quarter (before inventory and other nonrecurring charges of $7.3 million after tax), compared with $9.1 million in net income for the first three months of 2000.

“The transportation market continued to be severly impacted by the reduced level of freight demand during the first quarter,” said Jerry Ehrlich, chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “We have taken various actions to address this rapidly changing environment, including the restructuring of our international operations and the elimination of approximately 500 jobs. While these actions had little effect on the first quarter, we believe they will reduce our costs by more than $35 million annually beginning in the second quarter.”

Ehrlich announced Wabash would take an inventory charge on new and used trailers of approximately $9 million (pre-tax). He also announced an increase in the production of Duraplate vans to meet current demand.

“However, we remain cautious and will continue to pursue opportunities to further reduce our costs,” he said. As of March 31, Wabash reported a backlog of approximately $550 million, including $400 million for the company’s proprietary DuraPlate composite trailer.

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