FreightCar America 4Q, full-year results shine

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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FreightCar America reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 results Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, after the closing bell on Wall Street, highlighted by positive net earnings in 2013 compared with a net loss in 2013.

Fourth-quarter net income of $4.8 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, met Wall Street analyst expectations, and contrasted with a net loss of $12.3 million, or a loss of $1.03 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2013. Revenue of $213 million was above Wall Street analyst estimates of $190 million. 

The company delivered 2,360 railcars in the fourth quarter of 2014, which included 1,260 new and 1,100 rebuilt railcars. This compares to 1,101 railcars delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013, which included 190 new, 99 used, and 812 rebuilt cars. There were 2,354 railcars delivered in the third quarter of 2014, of which 1,554 were new and 800 were rebuilds. Total manufacturing backlog was 14,791 units at Dec. 31, 2014, compared to 6,826 units at December 31, 2013 and 13,514 units at Sept. 30, 2014.

For 2014, net income of $5.9 million, or 49 cents per diluted share, were a sharp contrast from 2013’s net loss of $9.3 million, or $1.61 per diluted share. Railcar deliveries totaled 7,102 units (4,012 new and 3,090 rebuilt) for 2014, compared with 3,821 units (992 new, 99 used, 200 leased, and 2,530 rebuilt) for 2013.

“Overall railcar market conditions continued to be favorable,” said President and CEO Joe McNeely. “Our backlog increased to over 14,700 railcars, valued at $1.3 billion, on fourth quarter orders of 3,637 railcars. Due to continued progress on our diversification strategy, our backlog consists of over 11,300 new non-coal cars across a broad range of car types.

“Looking ahead to 2015, operational execution will be key as we start an additional production line at our Shoals facility and anticipate full year deliveries of 9,000 to 10,000 railcars,” McNeely said.

“The increase in revenue vs. last year was largely driven by higher railcar deliveries and better product mix (revenue per car in the quarter was $86,640 vs. last year’s $71,983),” said KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. analyst Steve Barger, in a note to clients, adding, “We think the operating margin miss relative to our model was driven by a higher mix of rebuilt cars to new cars in total deliveries.”