Wabtec CEO Discusses Earnings and Merger Impact

From The Pittsburgh Business Times

PITTSBURGH, PA–In its second quarter 2019 earnings call Tuesday morning, Pittsburgh-based Wabtec Corp. (NYSE: WAB) reported several affects seen since the closing of the merger between Wabtec and GE Transportation in February.

In the combined company’s first quarterly call, led by Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana, who started in the role earlier this month, the company said the financial benefit achieved through the combination of the two companies would be fully demonstrated by the end of 2022.

“Our second-quarter results demonstrate a solid operating performance, with strong cash from operations and a margin improvement, enabling significant debt reduction,” Santana said in the call. “We are already beginning to reap strategic benefits from the merger of Wabtec and GE Transportation, completed just a few months ago.”  

Wabtec reported sales for Q2 at about $2.24 billion. The company updated its full-year guidance to investors, predicting sales of about $8.3 billion, according to the quarterly report.  

The manufacturer’s adjusted income from operations totaled $320 million, excluding a pre-tax expense of $119 million related to the merger. 

Santana said the company addressed the poor conditions of the North American freight market this quarter, which included the highest levels of parked locomotives in more than a decade. However, he said Wabtec still saw positive results.  

Freight segment sales at Wabtec rose $1.08 billion, or 262 percent, in the second quarter of 2019, another result of the merger. Even though the segment saw an “organic decrease of $34 million,” Wabtec’s acquisition of about $1.1 billion in the segment pulled it out of the negative numbers. 

Wabtec Corp. announced that it had added two new members to its board of directors: Rafael Santana and Ann Klee.

Santana is Wabtec’s president and CEO, while Klee is the long-time vice president of Environment, Health and Safety for General Electric.

“Both directors are significant assets to the board, and their experience and insights will help Wabtec bring increased value to our shareholders, customers, employees and the industries we serve,” Wabtec Executive Chairman Al Neupaver said in a prepared statement.

Santana took over as Wabtec’s president and CEO at the beginning of the month. He had previously served as the CEO of GE Transportation, which merged with Wabtec earlier this year. He has spent more than a decade in the transportation industry, growing GE Transportation’s regional footprint while serving as its leader.

Read the rest here.

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