Accuride Corporation (NYSE: ACW) reported that first-quarter adjusted EBITDA more than doubled year-over-year to $18 million, or 10.8% of net sales, compared to $8.2 million in the same quarter of 2013. 

First-quarter 2014 net sales from continuing operations were $166.8 million, compared with $163 million in the same period in 2013, an increase of 2.3 percent, primarily reflecting increased OEM production across the Wheels and Gunite businesses.

The company achieved operating income of $6.6 million for the quarter, compared to an operating loss of $4.8 million in the first quarter of 2013.  The company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $3.3 million, or $0.07 per share, during the quarter, compared to a net loss of $14.8 million, or $0.31 per share, in 2013.  As of March 31, 2014, Accuride had $21.6 million of cash plus $41.3 million in availability under its ABL Credit Facility, for total liquidity of $62.9 million.    

President and CEO Rick Dauch said, “Accuride continued to build momentum financially and operationally during the quarter. Our reduced cost structure and greater operating efficiencies enabled each of our business units to further expand margins, despite sales that were only up slightly year-over-year. This steady improvement is consistent with the growth in profitability we expect to generate as our end markets continue their recovery. 

“Particularly notable was the continued resurgence of Gunite, which achieved an Adjusted EBITDA margin of nearly 10 percent due to its lowered breakeven point and higher mix of aftermarket business.  This conversion level supports our target for Gunite to become a 10 to 12 percent Adjusted EBITDA business in 2014.  In addition, liquidity remained strong at $62.9 million, despite the quarter’s seasonal weakness and payment of our semi-annual bond obligation.” 

Net orders for the Class 8 and Class 5-7 commercial vehicle segments that Accuride supplies posted strong gains in the first quarter, growing 35.3 percent and 20.4 percent, respectively, year-over-year.  Strong fleet profitability and aging equipment are fueling the replacement trend. Meanwhile, trailer orders stand at their highest level since August 2006. As a result, first-quarter Class 8 and Class 5-7 production increased 22.1 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively, over the first quarter of 2013, while trailer production was essentially flat year-over-year.  Based on the continued strong order rate, Accuride anticipates higher OEM build rates over the next few quarters, particularly within the Class 8 segment.