GATX Corporation (NYSE:GMT) today reported 2014 first quarter net income of $42.1 million or $0.90 per diluted share, compared to net income of $27.1 million or $0.57 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. The 2014 first quarter results include an after-tax benefit of $3.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, from a change in the depreciable lives of the North American railcar fleet. The 2013 first quarter results include the negative impact of $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, from Tax Adjustments and Other Items. Details related to Tax Adjustments and Other Items are provided in the attached Supplemental Information.
Effective January 1, 2014, GATX revised the depreciable lives of its North American railcars based on a review of the current economic lives and usage of various railcar types. The change resulted in an increase to the average depreciable life for the fleet of approximately two years.
In late March, GATX acquired a per diem boxcar fleet consisting of approximately 18,500 cars. The fleet utilization and Lease Price Index (“LPI”) data for Rail North America presented in this release exclude this newly acquired fleet.
Brian A. Kenney, president and chief executive officer of GATX, said, “Rail North America’s fleet utilization was 98.5% at the end of the first quarter and our renewal success rate during the quarter was more than 85%. The renewal rate change of our Lease Price Index was a positive 33.9% and the average renewal term for cars in the LPI was 62 months. These favorable results were driven by continued strong demand for tank cars and improving demand for certain freight car types, such as covered hoppers. With the acquisition of the per diem boxcar fleet, GATX is now the largest lessor of boxcars in North America and we are well-positioned to capitalize on the unique trends in this market. Uncertainty related to future regulations governing tank cars which carry flammable liquids intensified during the quarter as shippers, car owners, railroads and legislators all advocated varying positions to regulators about what should be included in the final rules. It is not possible to estimate the extent of any changes to tank car regulations, or what impact they might have on GATX."