Greenbrier rolled back into the black in its fiscal second quarter to a $17.7 million profit, as the rail supplier delivered 1,500 more railcars than it did a year ago.
The Lake Oswego, Ore.-based company, which also builds barge equipment, saw railcar orders double from the previous quarter to 3,600 units. Greenbrier delivered 3,700 railcars last quarter, pushing second quarter revenue up 61 percent year-over-year to $458.2 million.
The company lost $550,000 in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The stronger financial results are the latest sign that most, if not all, Class I railroads will report healthy quarterly profit (subscription required) over the coming weeks. CSX will be the first major railroad to report first-quarter results, with earnings expected April 17.
"Manufacturing orders increased during the second quarter and remained robust during the first part of our current quarter,” said Greenbrier President and CEO William Furman. “As a result of momentum across multiple railcar types, we continue to diversify our product mix. We remain optimistic that we are in the early phases of a broad-based recovery in the rail markets we serve."
The company, which also repairs railcars, expects revenue and profit growth will be higher in the second half of fiscal 2012 than the first half. Like the major railroads its supplies, Greenbrier appears to be exercising its pricing power. As of Feb. 29, the manufacturer’s backlog was 12,500 units, equaling roughly $1.1 billion, compared to a 13,300-unit backlog, equaling about $1.1 billion.