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Rail News: Financials

L.B. Foster, GATX Rail register income gains

Supplier L.B. Foster Co. and freight-car lessor GATX Rail joined the parade of rail industry constituents announcing third-quarter financial results this week.

Yesterday, L.B. Foster reported earnings per diluted share — excluding $8.5 million in dividend income from Canadian Pacific Railway's acquisition of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. — doubled to 62 cents compared with third-quarter 2006 earnings, the company's 11th-straight quarter of year-over-year growth.

Income from continuing operations more than quadrupled to $14.5 million compared with third-quarter 2006's $3.4 million and net sales jumped 42 percent to $135.8 million.

"Overall, rail, tubular and construction products sales were very strong as operating margins increased across all segments," said L.B. Foster President and Chief Executive Officer Stan Hasselbusch in a prepared statement. "However, rail sales, as expected, were lower than the second quarter of this year, primarily due to decreased new rail sales."

L.B. Foster supplies products and accessories for freight and passenger railroads, and transit agencies, including used rail, insulated rail joints, direct fixation fasteners and concrete ties.

Meanwhile, GATX Rail yesterday reported third-quarter profit of $68.5 million, a 7 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2006's total primarily because of an increased number of cars on lease and higher average lease rates.

The North American fleet, which on Sept. 30 totaled 111,000 cars, posted a utilization rate of 97.9 percent compared with 98 percent in the second quarter and 98.5 percent in third-quarter 2006. The number of cars leased rose more than 1,300 cars year over year to 109,000 cars.

GATX Rail also reported that its lease renewal rates rose 17 percent in the quarter compared with a 14 percent rise in the second quarter.

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More News from 10/26/2007