Photo: Wabash National

Photo: Wabash National

The trailer manufacturer Wabash National Corp. saw its profit nearly double during the fourth quarter of 2014, according to its newly released earnings report.

Net income was $19.1 million, or 27 cents per diluted share on net sales of $527 million, a quarterly record for the third consecutive quarter, compared to fourth quarter 2013 net income of $10.4 million, or 15 cents per diluted share on net sales of $458 million.

For all of 2014, the Indiana-based company reported net income of $60.9 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, on record net sales of $1.86 billion, compared to net income of $46.5 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.64 billion for 2013.

"The growth and diversification initiatives driven by our long-term strategic plan to transform the company into a diversified industrial manufacturer with a higher growth and margin profile have continued to gain momentum,” said Dick Giromini, president and chief executive officer. "This is demonstrated by the achievement of record net sales and operating income for the third consecutive year of $1.86 billion and $122.4 million, respectively, as well as a 30 basis point improvement in operating income margin to 6.6%, equaling our best operating income margin ever.”

He said new trailer shipments of 57,350 for the year were consistent with the company’s recently updated guidance and represents an increase of 10,550 trailers, or 22.5% as compared to the previous year.

“We look forward to 2015 with a healthy backlog of orders totaling $1.09 billion, an increase of 54% as compared to the prior year period and representing the highest levels in more than a decade, and a trailer demand forecast well above replacement levels for a fourth consecutive year,” Giromini said. “Fleet age, customer profitability, used trailer values, regulatory compliance and access to financing all support continued strong trailer demand and provide a favorable pricing environment within specific product lines."