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CAI International's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: CAP

I’ll now turn the call over to our President and Chief Executive Officer, Victor Garcia.

Victor Garcia

Thank you, Tim. Good afternoon. We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results with quarterly year-over-year revenue growth of 44% and earnings per fully diluted share up 16% to $0.66 per share.

For the full-year period, we reported year-over-year revenue growth of 61% and earnings per fully diluted share up 63% to $2.55 per share. Our results during the fourth quarter were driven by the continued strong utilization of our fleet and the new containers delivered from the factories to our customers during the quarter.

Utilization in the fourth quarter remained strong at approximately 97%, slightly below the 98% we reported in the third quarter of this year, but strong nonetheless. As we indicated in the conference call last quarter, we expected a seasonal decline in utilization, and the result was consistent with what we expected.

We expect utilization to decline slightly further in the first quarter of 2012. However, we are very optimistic about container demand beginning in the second quarter and expect our utilization of equipment to increase over the course of the final nine months of 2012. We believe that lease rates on equipment off-hired at depots would strengthen over the coming weeks as a result of increased demand from our customers as we approach the seasonally stronger part of the year.

Prices being quoted by manufacturers for new containers have recently risen compared to the end of 2011, and if that price trend continues, we would expect lease rates on in-fleet equipment to benefit, if lease rates on new boxes increase because of the new – because of the higher new box cost.

As I mentioned, we believe demand for containers will be strong in 2012. Our view is based on the current high utilization of the worldwide lease fleet, the limited capital budgets for purchase via shipping rights and the limited new container production since the second quarter of 2011. Those three factors along with an expected containerized trade growth of 8% core pass by Containerization International, supported by growing U.S. and Asian economies implied to us expected strong demand for containers and utilization.

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