Trinity Industries' CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Trinity Industries, Inc. ( TRN)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

February 16, 2012 11:00 a.m. ET


Gail Peck – Treasurer

Tim Wallace – Chairman, CEO and President

Steve Menzies – SVP and Group President of the Rail and Railcar Leasing Groups

Antonio Carrillo – SVP and Group President of the Energy Equipment Group

Bill McWhirter – SVP and Group President of the Construction Products and Inland Barge Group

James Perry – SVP and CFO


Alex Walsh – KeyBanc Capital

Bascome Majors – Susquehanna

Allison Poliniak – Wells Fargo

Paul Bodnar – Longbow Research

Sal Vitale – Sterne Agee

Zahid Siddique – Gabelli & Company



Good day everyone and welcome to the fourth quarter results conference call. (Operator's instructions) As a reminder, today's call may be recorded, but before we get started let me remind you that today's conference call contains forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and includes statements as to estimates, expectations, intentions and predictions of future financial performance. The statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking. Participants are directed to Trinity's form 10-K and other SEC filings for a description of certain of the business issues and risks, a change in any of which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.

I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Gail Peck. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Gail Peck

Thank you Josh. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the Trinity Industries fourth quarter 2011 results conference call. I'm Gail Peck, Vice President and Treasurer of Trinity. Thank you for joining us today.

Following the introduction, you will hear from Tim Wallace, our Chairman and 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 Product 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 Tim Wallace for his comments.

Tim Wallace

Thank you, Gail, and good morning, everyone. I'm please with the improvements in our financial performance during the fourth quarter. All of our business segments, with the exception of one, produced solid results. 2011 was a significant growth year for Trinity; our businesses clearly demonstrated their ability to generate growth in specialized areas where demand was strong.

I'm very pleased with the way they worked together to leverage our existing manufacturing capacity to take advantage of growth opportunities. During 2011, Trinity's annual revenues grew approximately 42%. If you extract the earnings associated with the flood insurance claims settled during the year, our normalized EPS growth was approximately 94% for the year.

As we begin 2012, I'm very pleased with the positive momentum that is occurring within our company. The operating environment is in place for our businesses to generate operating leverage during 2012. Predicting operating leverage with precision is difficult because there are many factors to consider.

Demand for rail cars in North America remains consistent during the fourth quarter. Orders in our Rail Group exceeded deliveries, resulting in backlog growth for the eighth consecutive quarter. Our rail car manufacturing business's ability to achieve operating leverage during the fourth quarter was an accomplishment due to the steep ramp-up these businesses experienced during the quarter. Their current production footprint provides a nice platform for further improvements.

Our Rail Car Leasing business has great momentum. Their commercial team continues to originate rail car leases with attractive least terms that tie nicely with existing production plants. Our Leasing commercial team is also obtaining better terms for renewals on existing Leasing equipment. Strong rail car demand has created an environment that is ideal for selling rail cars from a lease lead into the secondary market.

Our Inland Barge Group is also experiencing consistent demand. During the fourth quarter, our barge business settled insurance claims associated with the severe flooding last May at our barge facility in Missouri. I'm very pleased with the speed with which this group recovered from the flood and resolved the associated financial issues.

Our Construction Products businesses are performing well in a challenging market environment. During the past few years, they completed several transactions that contributed to the improvement in their fourth quarter financial results. This group will continue to pursue additional ways to improve their financial performance, despite sluggish U.S. demand.

Our Energy Equipment Group reported a small loss during the fourth quarter. The loss was primarily due to lingering issues associated with production line transmissions and contract disputes in the wind tower business. This business recently filed a lawsuit over contract disputes with a major customer. The nature of the litigation prevents us from making assumptions on the final outcome.

I see a number of positive signs emerging from our wind tower manufacturing operations. We have a highly seasoned team focused on resolving the current challenges. It's always difficult to predict exactly when a business will completely overcome a complex challenge like the one our wind tower business currently faces. I anticipate this business will be able to generate improvements during the next few quarters.

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