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Trinity’s operating income grows while overall net profit shrinks

Despite higher operating income, Trinity Industries’ (NYSE: TRN) first quarter 2019 net profit fell 24 percent to $30.6 million from $40.2 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.23 per share in the first quarter of 2019 compared with $0.26 per share for the same period last year.

Net income from continuing operations was $31.2 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared with $15.2 million in the first quarter of 2018.

The first quarter of 2018 saw income of $26.4 million in discontinued operations, which contributed to the difference in net profit between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019.

First quarter 2019 revenue was $604.8 million, up 13.4 percent from $533.2 million for the same period in 2018.

TRN consists of three business segments: a rail group that includes the manufacturing of rail parts and tanks; a leasing group; and a highway products and logistics service.

TRN’s leasing segment saw fleet utilization of 98.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, up from 96.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Leasing group revenue and operating profit in the first quarter of 2019 was $200.4 million and $85.8 million, respectively. In comparison, revenue and operating profit in the first quarter of 2018 for TRN’s leasing group was $174.6 million and $71.1 million, respectively.

TRN attributed the increase to growth in its lease fleet and a higher volume of railcars sold from the lease fleet.

“Our leasing business maintained a strong level of utilization, increased its operating margin during the quarter, and grew its wholly and partially owned lease fleet by 9 percent year-over- year,” said Trinity president and chief executive officer Timothy Wallace.

For TRN’s rail products group, first quarter revenue was $603.6 million, compared with $588.1 million in the first quarter of 2018.

TRN’s highway products business posted revenue of $86.4 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared with $77.3 million in the first quarter of 2018.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily. Her transportation background extends to writing about automotive fuels and additives for Hart Energy Publishing and producing summaries on advanced transportation research for a federal government agency. In her spare time, she likes writing travel articles, taking photographs, and singing and dancing. She has a bachelor's degree in music and political science from Barnard College, a master's in journalism from Boston University, and a master's in musical theater from Boston Conservatory.

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