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Following this introduction, you would hear from Tim Wallace, our Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. After Tim, our business group leaders will provide overviews of the businesses within their respective groups.Our speakers will be Steve Menzies, Senior Vice President and Group President of the rail and Railcar Leasing Groups, Antonio Carrillo, Vice President and Group President of the Energy Equipment Group, and Bill McWhirter Senior Vice President and Group President of the Construction Products and Inland Barge Groups. Following their comments, I will provide the financial summary and guidance and then we will move to the Q&A session. Mary Henderson, our Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, is also in the room with us. Now, I will turn the call over to Tim Wallace for his comments. Tim Wallace Thank you, James and good morning everyone. Our business has continued to confront a variety of market scenarios. We anticipate that each quarter we will have its own unique challenges due to the continued uncertainty about the direction of the economy. Our liquidity continues to be strong at $1.1 billion. During the past few months, we have experienced some unfortunate weather-related problems. In May, our Tennessee barge facility was flooded when the area was seeing the large amount of rainfall during the 24-hour period. We are well underway towards the full recovery of this at this facility. Recently, some of our Mexico facilities were affected by Hurricane Alex, and we had some minor delays at these facilities. I'm very pleased by the way our personnel responded to the challenges associated with the flooding. My thoughts and prayers have been directed towards our employees' families who suffered losses during these storms. Market demand for our products in most of our businesses continues to fluctuate. We're seeing relatively steady demand for products manufactured by our highway-related businesses. Majority of our large businesses have order backlogs that should provide consistent production at lower than normal levels through the end of the year.
All of our businesses are aggressively pursuing orders to maintain as much production continuity as possible. I'm pleased that our railcar manufacturing business increased its order backlog during the second quarter.Our structural wind towers business is continuing to reshuffle its production schedule to accommodate customers. This reflects the uncertainty that remains in the industry. I'm pleased with the ability of our wind towers business and our barge business to maintain respectable margins at decreased production levels. Our Railcar Leasing Group is providing the most consistency in earnings. Our overall performance during the second quarter reflects the talent and hard work of our people, the diversification of our businesses, our emphasis on operational excellence and the strength of our market leadership positions. Going forward, our manufacturing businesses are prepared flex to the demands in their market shift. I'm confident in their ability to firstly respond to changes in their market. And rapidly changing business climate like the one we are experiencing, we are fortunate to have a highly seasoned group of employees. I will now turn it over to Steve Menzies for his comments. Steve Menzies Second quarter operating results for the Rail Group and Leasing Group were in line with our expectations. We saw lease fleet utilization increase to 98.7% and shipped approximately 890 new railcars. Our new railcar order backlog grew during the second quarter allowing us to plan a consistent level of production for the balance of the year. I am pleased with our operating performance in a highly challenging and uncertain railcar marketplace. We have seen some improvement in demand for certain key railcar types. Demand has improved for railcars in transport of chemicals, minerals and agricultural products, while railcars have served the lumber, paper, automotive and coal industries continue to suffer from weak demand. Lease renewals and lease rates appear to be stabilizing and even improving in certain markets. Currently the lack of the strong recovery in North American industrial production and overhanging of idle railcars continues to repeat any broad base sustainable recovery in railcar demand. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com