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Rail News: Financials

'Robust' rail-car market helps Greenbrier register record fiscal-year revenue


Today, The Greenbrier Cos. reported revenue of $202 million and net earnings of $8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2004, which ended Aug. 31 — a 145 percent and 47 percent increase, respectively, compared with fourth-quarter FY03.

During the quarter, Greenbrier delivered 3,000 rail cars compared with 2,100 units in fourth-quarter FY03.

"The new rail-car market in North America remains robust, particularly for double-stack intermodal cars, [which] helps fuel our financial results," said Greenbrier President and Chief Executive Officer William Furman in a prepared statement.

During its full FY04, Greenbrier increased revenue 37 percent to a record $729 million and quintupled net earnings to $20.8 million compared with FY03. Car deliveries totaled a record 10,800 units — compared with 6,500 units in FY03 and 4,100 units in FY02 — and the company's North American and European car backlog on Aug. 31 totaled 13,100 units valued at $760 million compared with 10,700 units valued at $580 million at the end of FY03 and 5,200 units valued at $280 million at the end of FY02.

Quarterly and fiscal-year results were driven by higher production rates, improved margins and operating efficiencies, higher lease rates and better utilization of the leased fleet, Greenbrier officials said.

During the fiscal year, the company also entered into a joint castings venture that operates two facilities, providing the company "favorable availability" of car components that are in short supply industry-wide, officials said. In addition, the company formed a subcontractor relationship with another North American car builder, which helped increase deliveries.

"Our new rail-car backlog grew 22 percent in fiscal 2004, even while deliveries grew to record levels," said Furman, adding that the industry's backlog of 61,000 units as of Sept. 30 is the highest since 1998. "In recent years, [we've] reduced the leverage on the balance sheet, enhanced customer relationships, added manufacturing capacity and flexibility, and built on our leadership in intermodal cars, which is the fastest growing rail equipment market."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/10/2004