VANCOUVER, WA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - Northwest Pipe Company (NASDAQ: NWPX) today reported sales of $81.4 million and per share earnings of $0.28 for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Net income for the quarter was $2.6 million. In the same quarter of 2008, sales were $94.0 million and net income was $5.0 million. Earnings per share in the first quarter of 2008 were $0.54.

Water Transmission Results

Revenues for the Water Transmission Group were $58.9 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to $63.9 million in 2008. First quarter gross profit in 2009 was $11.3 million, or 19.2% of sales, compared to $14.5 million, or 22.6% of sales in 2008.

"Water Transmission revenues were generally as expected," said Brian W. Dunham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "The quarter was adversely impacted by downtime due to installation of a new mill and weather-related delays at our plants."

Tubular Products Results

The Tubular Products Group sales were $22.5 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared to $30.1 million in 2008. Gross profit for the quarter was $1.4 million, or 6.4% of sales, compared to $3.3 million, or 11.1% of sales for 2008.

"The decline in Tubular Products revenues was also expected," said Dunham. "The combination of falling demand in our difficult economy and rapidly declining selling prices led to both lower revenues and lower gross profits."


"Looking ahead, we expect another challenging quarter before seeing improvement in the second half of the year," continued Dunham. "Our backlog grew to $205 million during the quarter and, while this is clearly a positive, we have a greater than usual amount of backlog that is not ready for current production. The backlog is also uneven across our plants. Some have substantial backlogs and others are relatively light. Accordingly, we expect our Water Transmission production will be slow in the second quarter, similar to the first quarter. We expect another good bookings quarter which should lead to a higher backlog at June 30th and stronger production schedules over the last half of the year."

"The Tubular Products business will continue to be challenged until we see some recovery in the economy in general and in natural gas exploration in particular," stated Dunham. "At this time, we do not expect to see these market improvements until at least the second half of the year."

"Our Northwest Pipe Asia subsidiary is off to a good start," said Dunham. "They delivered and installed a mill for us in our California facility and are finalizing the installation of another mill for a customer in Asia. We continue to expect positive but modest results from this group as well as insights into international projects."

Northwest Pipe is making progress on its new Bossier City, Louisiana facility. "Equipment installation is continuing at this site," said Dunham. "We are a little behind schedule but expect to be ready to produce pipe in August. Obviously, market conditions today do not support full production from this new operation but we believe that the broad mix of products -- OCTG, line pipe, and standard pipe -- plus some economic recovery, will enable a phased start up at that time."

About Northwest Pipe Company

Northwest Pipe Company manufactures welded steel pipe and other products in two business groups. Its Water Transmission Group is the leading supplier of large diameter, high-pressure steel pipe products that are used primarily for water infrastructure in North America. Its Tubular Products Group manufactures smaller diameter steel pipe for a wide range of applications including construction, agricultural, energy, traffic and other commercial and industrial uses. The Company is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington and has ten manufacturing facilities across the United States and Mexico.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release by Brian Dunham and statements in the "Outlook" section of this press release are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as expects, anticipates, intends, plans, believes, sees, estimates and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect management's current views and estimates of future economic and market circumstances, industry conditions, Company performance and financial results. Actual results could vary materially from the description contained herein due to many factors, including project delays, changes in bidding activity, market demand, operating efficiencies, availability and price of raw materials, availability and market acceptance of new products, product pricing, competitive environment, and other risks described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements we make today speak only as of today and we do not undertake any obligation to update any such statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after today.

Conference Call

The Company's first quarter 2009 earnings conference call will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at 8:00 a.m. PDT via live internet webcast. The conference broadcast can be accessed at the "Investor Relations" section of the Company's website located at For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available at the Investor Relations section of the Company's website ( or by dialing 866-434-5270 with the password 6301 approximately one hour after the event.

                          NORTHWEST PIPE COMPANY
     (Dollar and share amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                                   Three Months Ended
                                                         March 31
                                                   2009           2008
                                               -------------  -------------

Net Sales:
  Water Transmission                           $      58,855  $      63,869
  Tubular Products                                    22,548         30,134
                                               -------------  -------------
    Net Sales                                         81,403         94,003

Cost of Sales:
  Water Transmission                                  47,563         49,416
  Tubular Products                                    21,103         26,802
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Cost of Sales                               68,666         76,218

Gross Profit:
  Water Transmission                                  11,292         14,453
  Tubular Products                                     1,445          3,332
                                               -------------  -------------
    Gross Profit                                      12,737         17,785

Selling, General, and Administrative                   7,245          7,961
                                               -------------  -------------

Operating Income                                       5,492          9,824

Interest Expense, Net                                  1,226          1,806
                                               -------------  -------------

Income Before Income Taxes                             4,266          8,018

Provision for Income Taxes                             1,636          2,971
                                               -------------  -------------

Net Income                                     $       2,630  $       5,047
                                               =============  =============

Basic Earnings per Share                       $        0.29  $        0.56
                                               =============  =============

Diluted Earnings per Share                     $        0.28  $        0.54
                                               =============  =============

Shares Used in Per Share Calculation:
  Basic                                                9,219          9,087
                                               =============  =============
  Diluted                                              9,353          9,307
                                               =============  =============

                         NORTHWEST PIPE COMPANY
                      (Dollar amounts in thousands)

                                                 March 31     December 31
                                                   2009           2008
                                               -------------  -------------
  Cash and Cash Equivalents                    $         104  $          90
  Trade and Other Receivables, Net                    57,545         75,923
  Costs and Estimated Earnings in Excess
   of Billings on Uncompleted Contracts               98,187        106,234
  Inventories                                         75,411         87,348
  Other Current Assets                                13,025         12,436
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Current Assets                             244,272        282,031
  Property and Equipment, Net                        198,195        194,035
  Other Assets                                        33,924         33,368
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Assets                               $     476,391  $     509,434
                                               =============  =============

  Current Maturities of Long-Term Debt         $       6,555  $       6,543
  Accounts Payable                                    26,127         34,109
  Accrued Liabilities                                 10,311         10,111
  Billings in Excess of Cost and Estimated
   Earnings on Uncompleted Contracts                   3,488          8,020
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Current Liabilities                         46,481         58,783
  Long-Term Note Payable to Financial
   Institution                                        58,894         82,065
  Other Long-Term Debt, Less Current Maturities       29,377         32,379
  Other Liabilities                                   46,894         44,646
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Liabilities                                181,646        217,873

Stockholders' Equity                                 294,745        291,561
                                               -------------  -------------
    Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $     476,391  $     509,434
                                               =============  =============

Contact Information: CONTACT: Brian Dunham Chief Executive Officer 360-397-6300 Stephanie Welty Chief Financial Officer 360-397-6323