Friday, January 24, 2014

Railcar 4Q production, backlog stay strong

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Fourth-quarter railcar orders, deliveries, and backlogs showed robust activity, according to the Railway Supply Institute's American Railway Car Institute Committee (ARCI) data released Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Tank cars, in particular, continued to show robust activity.

Industry orders for the fourth quarter were 14,856, of which 4,916 were tank cars and 9,949 were (other) freight cars. That was up 3,799 cars, or 34%, from the 11,066 on order in the fourth quarter of 2012, and also up 2,112 cars, or about 16.5%, from the third quarter 2013 total of 12,753.

Deliveries for the fourth quarter totaled 15,776 railcars, up 3,961 cars, or 33.5%, from the 11,815 delivered in the fourth quarter of 2012, and also up 3,129 cars, or 24.8%, from the third quarter 2013 total of 12,647.

"Within those deliveries, 8,440 were tank cars, while 7,336 were freight cars. That is the largest single-quarter tank car delivery number ever, besting 3Q13's 7,589," noted KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. analyst Steven Barger, in a note to clients Thursday breaking down the delivery numbers.

The backlog at the end of the fourth quarter (and the 2013 year) was 72, 937 units, "down 1% sequentially from the 3Q13 backlog of 73,848, although the mix shifted toward freight cars," Barger noted.