Wabash set higher bars
Wabash set higher bars across the board in Q4. They have revenue of $657.4 million. Operating income of $57.7 million with operating margin of 8.8%. Earnings per diluted share of 84 cents.
Record backlog of $3.4 billion, up 46% compared to Q3 and 34% above December 2021. For the full year of 2022, revenue totaled $2.5 billion with operating income of $166.6 million, or 6.7% of sales. Both were records.
The West Lafayette, Indiana-based equipment maker projected 2023 revenue of $2.9 billion and diluted per-share earnings of $2.85. It already has booked $600 million in orders for beyond 2023 because of the focus on long-term agreements with select customers. Two more large deals are expected to be announced before the end of March. Wabash delivered 13,310 trailers in 2022 compared to 11,655 a year earlier. Although 2022 will go down as the most successful year of financial performance the company has achieved so far, the groundwork to enable this execution has been in place since 2019. Seeking recurring revenue through longer-term agreements allowed Wabash to make pricing more transparent to customers, something unworkable with fixed prices. Trailer demand remains strong despite falling freight rates, he said on a conference call with analysts. With underbuys in prior years and supply chain constraints remaining into 2023, implied demand for this year is still likely to outstrip supply. And that doesn’t count demand from national trailer pools that support drop-and-hook activity brokerages that handle only power units. If autonomous trucking catches on in the next few years, Wabash could benefit from more organic business.
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