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Rail News: Financials

American Railcar Industries: Revenue, rail-car shipments down from 3Q 2006, but profit's up year-to-date

American Railcar Industries Inc. didn't have a great third quarter compared with last year's measures, but that doesn't mean the producer of tank and hopper cars isn't having a pretty good year.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, ARI recorded revenue of $139.9 million, a 7 percent decline, and net earnings of $5 million, a 54.5 percent drop compared with the same 2006 period. Notably, ARI's third-quarter 2006 earnings included a pre-tax benefit of $9.3 million related to insurance recoveries from the April 2006 tornado at the company's tank-car facility in Marmaduke, Ark.

ARI also shipped 1,276 rail cars in the third quarter, a 17.5 percent drop-off compared with the same 2006 period. Fewer shipments of some of ARI's hopper cars drove the decline, the builder said.

But ARI's year-to-date figures compare much more favorably. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, ARI posted revenue of $536.2 million, an 11.5 percent increase compared with the same 2006 period. A bump-up in tank-car shipments — due in part from increased plant capacity and the recovery from the tornado-related shutdown in 2006 — drove the increase, ARI said. The builder recorded net earnings of $29.4 million, a 3.2 percent hike compared with the same 2006 period.

During the year's first nine months, ARI shipped 5,465 rail cars, a 3.9 percent increase compared with the same 2006 period.

"Management is controlling costs at our hopper rail-car facility during this time of lower production levels," said ARI President and Chief Executive Officer James Unger.

As of Sept. 30, ARI's backlog remained at the "high level" 13,384, Unger said, adding that the builder's tank-car production lines are "fully booked" through 2008 and most of 2009.

"We have hopper railcar orders through 2008 but not at capacity levels," he said.

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