Wabash National Corporation president William P. Greubel said today he was “very pleased” with first-quarter results, with net sales at $222 million (compared to $223 million for the same period last year) and net income at $6.9 million (compared to $1.4 million).
Diluted net income per share was $0.23 for the quarter, compared to $0.05 per share for the 2003 first quarter.
"We are very pleased with the improvement in our results,” Greubel said. “We continue to see positive signs in general economic activity, trucking activity and U.S. trailer industry fundamentals. Quote and order patterns remained relatively high in the first quarter leading to the need to increase production rates to meet higher demand.
“Sales were flat year over year, however, the first quarter of 2003 included approximately $20 million of sales associated with certain assets of our trailer rental and leasing and wholesale aftermarket parts distribution businesses which were sold in September 2003. We believe our current production rates are sustainable for the foreseeable future with some possibility of further increases. In addition, our retail distribution operations, although continuing to operate at a loss, showed improvement throughout the quarter.
“Currently, our greatest challenge is managing escalating costs of raw materials, including steel, aluminum and lumber. Both heavy-duty truck and trailer manufacturers are experiencing similar challenges. There have been some recent signs of stabilizing steel prices; however, we do not expect to see any significant improvement in material prices in the immediate future.
“As a result, in March we announced a price increase on all of our trailer products. While we have seen some impact from rising material costs, we expect most of the near term impact to be incurred during the second quarter. Despite these near term challenges, overall business conditions, including trailer demand, product acceptance, market penetration and productivity gains are very favorable for the company to achieve increasingly improved earnings and cash flow levels.”