Wabash National Corp. reported record first-quarter revenue, but net income slipped.
The Lafayette, Ind.-based trailer maker cited each of its three segments as contributing to top-line growth amid market demand that remained strong and generated headwinds.
For the period ending March 31, net income fell to $14.7 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, compared with $21.2 million, or 35 cents.
Revenue increased to $533 million compared with $491 million in the 2018 period.
“Industry volumes are proving to be strong in 2019, as reflected by the strength of our backlog,” Wabash CEO Brent Yeagy said in a company release. “We continue to work diligently to mitigate the operational and supply chain headwinds that accompany such high levels of demand.”
The company’s backlog reached $1.6 billion at the end of the quarter, representing a 29% increase versus the same time last year.
The commercial trailer product’s build schedules are “effectively filled for the remainder of the calendar year while other businesses also maintain very strong order books,” Yeagy said during an earnings conference call.
The company shipped 12,400 commercial trailers in the quarter, and the average selling price was $1,700 higher compared with the prior quarter to address the impact of increased material and operating costs. A year earlier, Wabash shipped 12,650 trailers.
Part of the decline in shipped trailers was due to trailers moving out in the fourth quarter that had been expected to ship in the first quarter, Yeagy said.
Operating income at the commercial trailer products unit was $26.3 million compared with $29.4 million a year earlier. Revenue climbed to $341 million compared with $327 million.
In the diversified products unit, operating income rose to $8 million compared with $5 million in the 2018 quarter. Revenue increased to $99.6 million compared with $95.2 million.
The diversified products segment includes tank trailers, trailer aerodynamics and composite technology.
In the final-mile segment, which builds dry and refrigerated truck bodies, operating income rose to $1.8 million compared with $609,000 a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $100.8 million compared with $75.4 million in 2018.
Yeagy said growth in the final-mile products segment has exceeded expectations, but has brought “unique challenges” that come with such growth.
“We are maneuvering accordingly to mitigate the short-term bumps in the road, such as chassis availability and accelerating our pace to unlock additional capacity within final-mile products. Exciting and impactful work remains, but we believe that the step change in first-quarter revenue shows the strategic rationales flowing through as we march forward with our intensity, a very significant force within the growing final-mile space,” Yeagy said.
Wabash is the nation’s sole publicly traded trailer maker.