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Wabash National swings to loss

April 29, 2008
Truck trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. reported a $6.4 million loss in its first quarter, down from a $1 million profit a year earlier.

The loss amounted to 21 cents a share, more than the 14-cent loss anticipated by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

New trailer sales plummeted 43 percent, to 6,300 units, in the quarter ended March 31. However, Wabash said its backlog of orders increased to $537 million, up from $336 million in the quarter ended in December.

The Lafayette company and other trailer makers have struggled as the economy slowed. It has laid off nearly 300 workers in recent weeks due to a temporary slowdown.

In March, Wabash announced it would build a plant in Kentucky to fulfill its long-term production needs because workers were hard to find in the Lafayette area.

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