Rising costs swing Wabash National to loss

Lafayette-based truck trailer maker Wabash National Corp. reported a third-quarter loss of $4.3 million late yesterday after having turned a $3.8 million profit a year earlier.

The 14 cents per share in red ink matched expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

President Dick Giromini said material costs outpaced progress made in cutting other costs and improving production. He warned that the rising material costs will make the fourth quarter the most difficult of the year for Wabash.

Wabash stock increased 9 cents, to $5.25 per share, this morning. That’s near a long-time low of $4.70 reached in late 2002 and well below the high $20s where it traded in 2004, when the economy was stronger.

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