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Wabash blows away Q3 earnings estimates, builds trailer backlog

Operating margin hits 8.1% in quarter with record revenue

Wabash posted record third-quarter revenue and improved its operating margin by more than 4 percentage points. (Photo: Wabash)

Trailer and final-mile equipment manufacturer Wabash blew through analyst estimates for the third quarter and built its backlog for an economic downturn.

Lafayette, Indiana-based Wabash posted record quarterly revenue of $655.2 million, up 35% over a year ago. Consolidated gross profit was $92.0 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, improved 14% over Q3 2021.

Operating income was $52.9 million for a margin of 8.1%, more than 4 percentage points higher than the previous year. Gross margins improved 340 basis points.

“This is a meaningful step forward in our financial performance, and what makes the quarter even more exciting is the progress made against our strategic plan,” said Brent Yeagy, Wabash president and CEO.   

If the economy should sour as many predict in coming quarters, Wabash appears prepared. Its order backlog was up 20% year over year at $2.3 billion, a Q3 record.

“Our process of booking orders has shifted from transactional to strategic as we engage with customers to plan for how Wabash can serve their needs from across our first- to final-mile portfolio for the next several years as opposed to the usual one-year-out conversation,” Yeagy said.

During the quarter, Wabash added new dealers, announced a new product-line brand and added additional board members with strategic expertise. The company shipped 13,365 trailers in the quarter compared to 12,455 a year ago. Truck body shipments were 4,115 versus 3,780 a year earlier.

In August, Wabash announced a $20 million expansion at its 53-acre facility in Little Falls, Minnesota, to expand manufacturing capacity of EcoNex Technology for refrigerated carriers. It expects to add more than 200 jobs by the end of 2023.

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Trailer maker Wabash pulls ahead despite cooling economy

Wabash backlog swells as trailer maker completes go-to-market makeover 

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.