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It is now my pleasure to turn the conference over to Ms. Gail Peck, Trinity Security Incorporated’s Treasurer. Ms. Peck, you may begin.Gail Peck Thank you, Aaron. Good morning everyone. Welcome to Trinity Industries third quarter 2011 results conference call. I am Gail Peck, Treasurer of Trinity. Thank you for joining us today. Following the introduction, you’ll 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 are Steve Menzies, Senior Vice President and Group President of the Rail and Railcar Leasing Groups, Antonio Carrillo, Senior 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 Group. Following their comments, James Perry, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer will provide the financial summary and guidance. We will then move to the Q&A session. Mary Henderson, our Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer is also in the room with us today. I will now turn the call over to Tim Wallace for his comments. Tim Wallace Thank you, Gail and good morning everyone. Our businesses are continuing to experience a variety of scenarios. I am pleased with their accomplishment. Demand for railcars in North America remained consistent during the third quarter. Orders for railcars and our Rail Group once again exceeded deliveries, resulting in backlog growth for the seventh consecutive quarter. Our railcar manufacturing businesses are beginning to achieve operating leverage as they continued to ramp up production. We expect their performance to improve during the fourth quarter. Our railcar leasing business is obtaining better lease rates in extending lease terms while responding to favorable opportunities to sale railcars from the lease fleet into the secondary market.
Our Barge group is also experiencing consistent demand. The order backlog for this group increased 14% during the third quarter. Our barge facility in Missouri that was damaged by severe flooding in May has fully recovered. I’m very pleased by the way our personnel responded to the many challenges associated with the flood.Our Construction Products businesses are performing well in a challenging market environment. Demand for concrete and aggregates in the markets our businesses serve have been effected by the overall slow down in the construction industry. Demand for highway products in the U.S. is heavily influenced by federal highway funding. The outlook for this market remains uncertain as our political leaders continue to work through federal highway funding legislation. The international demand for our highway products has been improving. Our Construction Products businesses are prepared to respond as demand shifts. Our Energy Equipment Group reported a loss during the third quarter. The loss was primarily due to issues that our wind tower business experienced as a transition from producing 80 meter wind towers to manufacturing 100 meter wind towers. The taller towers are substantially heavier and more complex to manufacture than the previous models. Our wind tower manufacturing specialists are in this later stages of resolving manufacturing transition issues associated with the new wind towers. We expect the performance of our wind towers business to begin to show improvement during the fourth quarter. It’s very difficult to precisely predict the details pertaining to improvements when we have manufacturing facilities transition into a complicated, new product changeovers. Our wind tower backlog was approximately $930 million at the end of the third quarter. The backlog for our wind towers business is comprised primarily of contracts without provisions for customers to substitute these larger wind towers. Executives at our wind towers business are planning to visit with customers about developing acceptable contract terms or substituting new tower designs. From a long-term perspective, we believe our short-term investment to enhance our manufacturing flexibility in wind towers will improve our market leadership positioning. We want our wind towers business to remain flexible enough to shift when our customers’ needs changed.
From an overall company point of view, I'm pleased with our accomplishments. As we began our budgeting process for 2012, we have a positive outlook in most of our businesses. Our overall performance and strength of our market leadership positions reflects the talents and hard work of our employees and our commitment to operational excellence. We are fortunate to have a highly seasoned group of employees who are extremely capable. I will now turn it over to Steve Menzies for his comments.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com