Thursday, July 23, 2009

As earnings plunge, GATX lowers 2009 forecast

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With customers cutting their fleets and pressing for price breaks, GATX Leasing Corp. on Thursday reported a 68% drop in second quarter earnings and revised its forecast for 2009 earnings from $2.50 to $2.00 per share.

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Second-quarter income was $12.7 million, or 27 cents per share, vs. analyst expectations of 40 cents for the rail and marine equipment lessor.

"In Rail, customers continue to trim their rail fleets and seek the most competitive rates when renewing leases,” said GATX President and CEO Brian A Kenney. “GATX is competing aggressively to maintain fleet utilization while selectively shortening the term of renewals to position the fleet to benefit from a stronger market in the future."

On June 3, GATX had approximately111,000 cars in its North American fleet. Utilization was 96.0% compared to 96.5% to the end of the first quarter and 97.9% at the beginning of the year.