The Greenbrier Companies (NYSE: GBX) reported first-quarter fiscal 2013 diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.35 on revenue of $415 million. In the same period a year ago, the railcar builder reported diluted EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $444 million. This morning’s results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.31 and $400 million in revenue.
Greenbrier’s chairman/CEO said:
Our visibility is growing as the result of major new orders. We expect financial momentum will continue to build sequentially throughout the year, in line with earlier guidance. In North America, we continue to ramp up our higher margin tank car production to capitalize on demand from the strong energy market and are sold out of tank car capacity through calendar 2014. We expect to be at an annual run rate of about 3,800 tank cars in North America by December 2013.
That comment about says it all. Unless and until pipeline transportation is added to get liquids out of the middle of the United States to the coasts, rail transportation is the only reasonable option. Greenbrier’s total backlog at the end of its first quarter was 9,700, down by 1,000 from the beginning of the quarter and down from a backlog of 13,300 at the end of the first quarter last year.
The company beat back a takeover bid from Carl Icahn in December, and Icahn shed most his holdings in the company.
Greenbrier posted good results, but they should have been better and the backlog could be higher. Shares probably will not see a very big bump today.
The company’s shares are up about 0.5% in premarket trading this morning, at $17.35 in a 52-week range of $13.10 to $26.66. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $18.75 before today’s report.