Railcar Maker Greenbrier Flourishes on Demand for Tank Cars

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Greenbrier Companies Inc. (NYSE: GBX) reported third-quarter fiscal 2014 results before markets opened Wednesday. The railcar maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.03 on revenue of $593.28 million. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.50 on revenue of $433.66 million. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.74 and $571.07 million in revenue.

Adjusted EBITDA rose sequentially from $44.93 million to $77.96 million, with net earnings more than doubling between the second and third quarters. In the second quarter, Greenbrier also took a restructuring charge of $540 million.

Greenbrier’s CEO said:

This quarter represents a solid and sustainable performance level, and provides a good base for further growth and diversification. All three of our business segments improved their financial performance, with manufacturing and leasing continuing to lead the way. … We have diversified our product mix, added efficient capacity in lower cost facilities, and driven considerably more product through our leasing model, all in line with our announced strategy. This strategy is paying off and we expect growth from all areas in our integrated business model in the quarters ahead.

Greenbrier’s total backlog at the end of its second quarter was 15,200, and it had risen to 26,400 at the end of the third quarter on the strength of new orders for 15,600 units.

In its outlook statement, the company said it deliver 4,300 to 4,600 units in the fourth quarter, resulting in total fiscal year deliveries of 15,700 to 16,000 units. Fourth-quarter revenues are expected to rise by 4% to 6% and full-year revenues are forecast to be more than $2.2 billion. The consensus revenue estimate for the fourth quarter is $595.25 million and for the full year is $2.15 billion.

In December 2012, Carl Icahn offered to buy Greenbrier for $22 a share, an offer the company found very easy to refuse. Shares were up about more than 12% in early trading, at $64.87, a new 52-week high. The 52-week low is $21.10, and Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $61.60 before the report.

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