GATX Jumps on Strong Quarter

Shares rise 4%.
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GATX

(GMT)

, a lease financing and related services provider, said its first-quarter earnings rose 68.7% from the year-ago period.

The Chicago-based company earned $47.9 million, or 83 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.4 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. First-quarter results include $3.4 million, or 6 cents a share from lower depreciation on air assets targeted for sale. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $27.1 million, or 54 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 11.6% from a year ago period to $289.5 million as against analysts' expectation of $262.3 million.

"Our first quarter results reflect continued strength in the markets we serve,'' the company said. "Overall, the first quarter results provide a good start to 2006 and we remain confident in the EPS guidance provided earlier this year. We continue to implement our strategy of adhering to our disciplined, long-term approach to investment.''

First-quarter gross profit rose 12.2% from a year-ago period to $316.8 million and gross margin increased 60 basis points to 109.4%.

By segment, first-quarter revenue from rail segment rose 5.1% from a year-ago period to $211.1 million. Revenue from air segment rose 6.9% to $35.6 million. Revenue from specialty segment rose 81.6% to $32.5 million and revenue from other segment rose 41.1% to $10.3 million.

Dividend declared in the quarter increased 5% from a year-ago period to 21 cents a share.

Shares rose $1.80 to $46.54.

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