The company reported a loss of about $900,000, or 8 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter, measured against earnings of $4.8 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, in the comparable 2012 quarter. Third-quarter revenue of $75.9 million was down 53% from a year ago, and also below Wall Street consensus estimates of $81 million.
FreightCar America also reported a loss in this year's second quarter.
"While the outlook for the broader coal car market remains mixed, we are encouraged by the resilience in the Eastern coal car market, as evidenced by the large rebuild orders we received during the quarter," said CEO Joe McNeely. "With the successful startup of the Shoals facility plus the recently announced organizational changes, we are well positioned to effectively execute on our strategic priorities while preserving our financial strength. We are focused on diversifying our railcar product offerings, maintaining our market leadership in coal cars and maximizing the value of our services business."
FreightCar America delivered 937 railcars in the third quarter of 2013, including 194 new railcars and 743 rebuilt railcars, compared with 1,618 railcars delivered in the third quarter of 2012 and 710 railcars delivered in the second quarter of 2013. There were 6,001 units ordered in the third quarter of 2013, which included an order for approximately 4,000 rebuilt coal cars, the company said. This compares to 225 units ordered in the third quarter of 2012 and 693 units ordered in the second quarter of 2013. Total manufacturing backlog was 7,129 units at September 30, 2013, compared to 3,716 units at September 30, 2012 and 2,065 units at June 30, 2013.
KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. analyst Steve Barger, in a note to clients, said the third-quarter loss "was largely driven by lower railcar deliveries and negative impact from mix (revenue per car in the quarter was $71,400 vs. last year's $82,000)."
Barger added, "Rail ended the quarter with a backlog of 7,129 cars, which is significantly higher than 3,716 last year and 2,065 last quarter. Railcars under lease ended the quarter at $53.3 million vs. 2Q13 of $59.8 million; the decrease reflects the impact of cars sold during the quarter (RAIL reported a gain of $563,000 related to these sales)."