Thursday, April 29, 2010

ARI repair, services segments ease difficult first quarter

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American Railcar Industries late Wednesday reported a first-quarter net loss of $7.0 million, or 33 cents per share, on revenue of $52.3 million, compared with earnings of $2.7 million, or 13 cents per share, in the comparable quarter of 2009.

The company attributed the lower revenue to lower railcar shipments and decreases overall average railcar selling prices, due to pricing pressures and a change in product mix. It noted such decreases were partially offset by increased railcar repair volumes due to completed facility expansions and the utilization of its railcar manufacturing facilities for railcar repair projects.

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“The railcar industry, while still at a low point of the economic cycle, appears to be picking up momentum with reports showing that railcar loadings have increased and many stored railcars are returning to service,” said President and CEO James Cowan. “Along with this modest improvement, which may or may not continue, we have received an increased number of requests for quotations and have been successful in securing several orders in 2010. Both of our railcar manufacturing facilities have maintained production throughthe downturn, albeit at low levels. In spite of the weakness in new railcar manufacturing, our railcar services segment has been strong with 36% growth in revenues, year-over-year, to $16.7 million for the first quarter of 2010. This growth resulted from higher volumes driven by repair plant expansions and repair work performed at our railcar manufacturing plants.”

Cowan added, “We are also pleased to announce that the financing for Amtek Railcar Industries Private Limited, our Indian joint venture, was completed and a facility is currently under construction to manufacture railcars to service the Indian markets.”

During the first quarter, ARI shipped approximately 340 railcars as compared to approximately 1,490 railcars in the same period of 2009. Its backlog as of March 31 totaled approximately 500 railcars.