Trinity Industries, North America’s largest railcar manufacturer, in the first quarter shipped twice as many railcars as it did a year ago, but new orders fell year-over-year, suggesting the railroad industry is slowing capacity expansion.
The increased railcar orders, along with increased order for barges, helped more than double profit to $52.9 million from $24.2 million. Total revenue jumped 46 percent year-over-year to $925.3 million, as railcar business expanded to $467.1 million from $219.8 million in the same period.
The company received orders for 3,255 railcars with a value of about $393.2 million, compared to orders of 18,770 railcars made a year ago. Trinity received orders for 6,220 railcars in the fourth quarter.
Trinity said its backlog remained stable in the first quarter, with roughly 27,245 railcars valued at $393.2 million at the end of March. That compares to a backlog of roughly 29,000 railcars valued at $2.6 billion in the quarter before.
“Our strong first quarter results were driven by a significant increase in railcar shipments compared to last year, along with improved profitability and a higher level of railcar sales from the railcar leasing business,” said Trinity Chairman, CEO and President Timothy Wallace.
Trinity’s railcar leasing and management business saw revenue rose 6.3 percent year-over-year to $127.4 million, because of fleet growth, higher rental rates and improved utilization. Inland barge revenue increased 22.8 percent to $169.4 million in the same period, while energy equipment and construction production business both expanded.