Wabtec “delivered a strong quarterly performance,” President and CEO Rafael Santana said during a Nov. 1 financial report. Third-quarter 2022 sales were up 9.1% from the prior-year period, which the company attributed to “significantly higher Freight segment sales, partially offset by lower Transit segment sales.”
Cowen and Company
Greenbrier on Oct. 27 reported fourth-quarter 2022 results, which marked a “strong end” to its fiscal year and “demonstrates the value of its diverse business activities,” said President and CEO Lorie Tekorius.
“Throughout the year, we have said 2022 would be a tale of two halves and that is exactly how it is unfolding,” Canadian Pacific (CP) President and CEO Keith Creel said on Oct. 26. “The third quarter saw strong demand in potash and intermodal that we anticipated, and CP was well-resourced to handle the volume increases we have seen.”
Through its “robust hiring initiatives and the launch and execution of its new operating plan, TOP|SPG,” Norfolk Southern (NS) achieved “record financial results and improved service levels for its customers” in third-quarter 2022, said President and CEO Alan Shaw during an Oct. 26 announcement.
Trinity Industries on Oct. 25 reported third-quarter 2022 GAAP and adjusted earnings that “show progress and improvement in our business,” according to President and CEO Jean Savage. “We continue to believe we will perform well in the coming years given our robust backlog and the favorable re-pricing environment for lease rates.”
Union Pacific (UP) “made positive strides in the third quarter to increase network fluidity and better meet customer demand,” UP Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz said during an Oct. 20 earnings report.
According to Cowen and Company’s recently conducted third-quarter 2022 Rail Equipment and Rail Shipper surveys, the positive outlook for railcar orders remains relatively unchanged from the second quarter, and rail shipping pricing expectations have ticked down sequentially. Details follow, plus insights on the Class I railroads, ahead of earnings.
A strike has been averted for now as the major unions reached tentative agreements. Contracts details are expected to be in line with the Presidential Emergency Board recommendations. The railroads will have to gradually pass through costs as contracts are renewed if they want to keep margins intact. This may prove difficult as we head into an economic slowdown. We continue to favor Canadian Pacific (CP) in the rail group.
At the NEARS (North East Association of Rail Shippers) Fall 2022 Conference, participants say they are still waiting to see consistency in rail service. Technical metrics are gradually improving, but in our view, fluidity will not show significant improvement until first-half 2023. On the first day of sessions (Sept. 21), many attendees expressed surprise that CSX reached outside the rail network for its new CEO. Also, Surface Transportation Board Chairman Martin Oberman foreshadowed a more proactive STB. Our key takeaways follow.
Peak season visibility is murky, as some cracks emerge in the macro. Improving rail service offers some respite as volumes tick upward. Rail pricing continues to come above cost pressures. M&A activity is solid. Preliminary capex for 2023 is looking at least flat.