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Marketwired
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Northwest Pipe Reports Q1 2012 Financial Results and Announces Conference Call

VANCOUVER, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/14/12 -- Northwest Pipe Company (NASDAQ: NWPX) today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2012. The Company will broadcast its first quarter 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 9:00 am PDT.

First Quarter 2012 Results

Net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 increased 27.6% to $142.2 million compared to $111.5 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Gross profit was $16.5 million (11.6% of net sales) in the first quarter of 2012, an increase from $14.8 million (13.2% of net sales) in the same quarter of 2011. Net income for the first quarter of 2012 was $4.7 million or $0.50 per diluted share compared to $2.9 million or $0.31 per diluted share for the same period in 2011.

Water Transmission sales decreased by 0.4% to $58.4 million in the first quarter of 2012 from $58.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. The decrease in sales was due to an 11% decrease in volume, partially offset by a 12% increase in selling price per ton. Water Transmission gross profit decreased to $9.7 million (16.6% of segment net sales) in the first quarter of 2012 from $9.9 million (16.9% of segment net sales) in the same quarter of the prior year. The decrease in gross profit was due to a 19% increase in steel cost during the first quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011.

Tubular Products sales increased 58.6% to $83.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 from $52.8 million in the first quarter of 2011, driven by a 40% increase in tons sold, from 47,500 tons to 66,600 tons, and a 17% increase in the average selling price per ton. The most significant increase in volume was for energy pipe, resulting from increases in sales related to natural gas and oil drilling operations. Tubular Products gross profit increased by 39.5% to $6.8 million (8.1% of segment net sales) in the first quarter of 2012 from $4.9 million (9.2% of segment net sales) in the same quarter of 2011. While gross profit increased with the increase in sales, it was tempered by higher steel costs as selling prices did not increase as rapidly as steel costs in the first quarter of 2012.

As of March 31, 2012, the backlog of orders was approximately $198 million, with the Water Transmission segment representing approximately $161 million and the Tubular Products segment representing approximately $37 million. This compared to a total backlog of orders of $258 million as of March 31, 2011, with the Water Transmission segment representing approximately $194 million and the Tubular Products segment representing approximately $64 million. The backlog includes confirmed orders, including the balance of projects in process, and projects for which the Company has been notified that they have been the successful bidder even though a binding agreement has not been executed.

Outlook

"We have seen increases in sales and net income in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to the first quarter of 2011," said Richard Roman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "As previously discussed and reflected in our backlog numbers, we experienced a decline in bidding activity for our Water Transmission segment which we expect will result in lower sales and gross profit for that segment as we look forward in 2012. However, we anticipate strong energy markets for our Tubular Products Group will continue through 2012, resulting in increased sales and gross profit for that segment. We expect we will start seeing improved margins in our Tubular Products Group in the second half of 2012 as compared to 2011 as we complete the expansion project in our Atchison, Kansas facility in May and continue our cost improvement program in place throughout our Tubular Products facilities."

Conference Call

The Company will hold its first quarter 2012 earnings conference call on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 9 am PDT. The live call can be accessed by dialing 800-369-3340, passcode NWPIPE. For those unable to attend the live call, a replay will be available approximately one hour after the event and will remain available for 30 days by dialing 866-460-3221, passcode 6301.

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 products including energy, construction, agriculture and industrial systems. 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 Richard A. Roman are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Exchange Act that are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about our business, management's beliefs, and assumptions made by management. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of important factors. While it is impossible to identify all such factors, those that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by us include changes in demand and market prices for our products, product mix, bidding activity, the timing of customer orders and deliveries, production schedules, the price and availability of raw materials, excess or shortage of production capacity, international trade policy and regulations and other risks discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and from time to time in our other Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release. If we do update or correct one or more forward-looking statements, investors and others should not conclude that we will make additional updates or corrections with respect thereto or with respect to other forward-looking statements.

NORTHWEST PIPE COMPANY
        CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)
     (Dollar and share amounts in thousands, except per share amounts)


                                                     Three Months Ended
                                                          March 31,
                                                 --------------------------
                                                     2012          2011
                                                 ------------  ------------

Net sales:
  Water Transmission                             $     58,431  $     58,645
  Tubular Products                                     83,744        52,813
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Net sales                                         142,175       111,458

Cost of sales:
  Water Transmission                                   48,732        48,751
  Tubular Products                                     76,943        47,939
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total cost of sales                               125,675        96,690

Gross profit:
  Water Transmission                                    9,699         9,894
  Tubular Products                                      6,801         4,874
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Total gross profit                                 16,500        14,768

Selling, general, and administrative expense            7,321         7,289
                                                 ------------  ------------

Operating income (loss):
  Water Transmission                                    8,024         8,261
  Tubular Products                                      6,196         3,849
  Corporate                                            (5,041)       (4,631)
                                                 ------------  ------------
    Operating income                                    9,179         7,479

Other expense                                              36           113
Interest income                                           (41)            -
Interest expense                                        1,640         2,618
                                                 ------------  ------------

Income before income taxes                              7,544         4,748

Provision for income taxes                              2,810         1,816
                                                 ------------  ------------

Net income                                       $      4,734  $      2,932
                                                 ============  ============

Basic earnings per share                         $       0.51  $       0.32
                                                 ============  ============

Diluted earnings per share                       $       0.50  $       0.31
                                                 ============  ============

Shares used in per share calculations:
  Basic                                                 9,369         9,304
                                                 ============  ============
  Diluted                                               9,412         9,344
                                                 ============  ============



                           NORTHWEST PIPE COMPANY
              CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited)
                        (Dollar amounts in thousands)



                                                     March 31,  December 31,
                                                       2012         2011
                                                   ------------ ------------
Assets:
  Cash and cash equivalents                        $         88 $        182
  Trade and other receivables, net                       64,872       69,894
  Costs and estimated earnings in excess of
   billings on uncompleted contracts                     44,144       38,029
  Inventories                                            98,612      107,169
  Other current assets                                   12,206       11,649
                                                   ------------ ------------
    Total current assets                                219,922      226,923
  Property and equipment, net                           153,225      152,846
  Other assets                                           34,361       33,604
                                                   ------------ ------------
    Total assets                                   $    407,508 $    413,373
                                                   ============ ============

Liabilities:
  Current maturities of long-term debt             $      9,012 $      9,072
  Accounts payable                                       21,444       20,248
  Accrued liabilities                                    21,579       19,175
  Billings in excess of cost and estimated
   earnings on uncompleted contracts                      4,364        7,814
                                                   ------------ ------------
    Total current liabilities                            56,399       56,309
  Note payable to financial institution                  53,807       62,000
  Other long-term debt, less current maturities          20,836       24,418
  Other long-term liabilities                            30,925       30,379
                                                   ------------ ------------
    Total liabilities                                   161,967      173,106

Stockholders' equity                                    245,541      240,267
                                                   ------------ ------------
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity     $    407,508 $    413,373
                                                   ============ ============

CONTACT:
Robin Gantt
Chief Financial Officer
360-397-6250

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