The Greenbrier Cos. saw earnings decline on weaker revenue after lower deliveries of new railcars in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
The company, headquartered in Lake Oswego, Ore., said net earnings for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2018 were $18 million, or 54 cents per share, on revenue of $604.5 million. That compared to earnings of $26.4 million, or 80 cents per share, on revenue of $689.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Adjusted pre-tax earnings was $57.6 million, or 9.5% of revenue.
New railcar deliveries totaled 4,500 units for the quarter, with total orders for 5,400 railcars valued at $560 million. The company said the book-to-bill ratio of 1.2 for the quarter marked the third consecutive quarter with a book-to-bill over 1.0. New railcar backlog was 27,500 units with an estimated value of $2.7 billion.
The company declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share, and extended its share repurchase program for two years through March 2021 while increasing the buyback to $100 million.
“Greenbrier’s performance in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 exceeded expectations and demonstrates the ability of our people to execute the Company’s business plan,” said Chairman and Chief Executive William A. Furman. “Order activity was strong in the first quarter and comprised a broad range of railcar types including double-stack intermodal units, tank cars and heavy-duty flat cars. Importantly, 20% of all new railcar orders were received from markets outside North America. We are confident in achieving our guidance for the year with approximately 90% of Greenbrier’s fiscal 2019 production plan now booked with firm orders.”
A total 90% of fiscal 2019 production is in backlog, and Greenbrier affirmed estimated deliveries of 24,000–26,000 units including Greenbrier-Maxion (Brazil), which will account for approximately 2,000 units. Total revenue will top $3 billion, with diluted earnings per share of $4.20-4.40.
“Greenbrier continues to see opportunities internationally, and expects international growth to continue from Europe and Brazil as the year progresses,” said Furman, “with activity in the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Eurasia growing over time. A thoughtful approach to capital deployment emphasizes growth at scale designed to both reinforce the Company’s position in core North American markets and expand in international railcar markets.
“Developing a pipeline of talent to strengthen Greenbrier’s workforce is another key strategic objective in fiscal 2019. Greenbrier will continue to invest in its business and people, a strategic approach that serves the Company, our shareholders and our employees well.”