Oshkosh sees strong muni market

Municipal sales rebounding, Oshkosh says

Healthy profits reported by Oshkosh Truck Corp. for its first fiscal quarter of 2005 highlight a strong rebound in sales to municipalities after several years of decline, the company said.

“Income increased principally due to strong performance in our company’s defense and fire and emergency segments, even while our European refuse business exhibited continued weak performance,” said Robert Bohn, Oshkosh’s chairman, president & CEO “This has been the best first quarter in our history, driven [in part] by strong performance in the fire and emergency business.”

Oshkosh said net income increased 36.6% to $40.6 million on 30.8% higher sales of $644.9 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2005, compared the same quarter of fiscal 2004. The company’s fire and emergency segment sales really boomed, however, shooting up 58% to $194.2 million for the quarter. As a result, Oshkosh is increasing its sales and earnings estimates for fiscal 2005 to $2.775 billion and $3.85 per share, respectively, Bohn said.

“We believe the municipal and homeland security markets are improving and provide a solid foundation for continued growth in our fire and emergency business,” he added. “Our confidence has been further bolstered by recent developments, particularly the strong incoming order rate in our defense and fire and emergency businesses, leading us to again increase fiscal 2005 estimates above previous guidance.”

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