American Railcar Industries

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On the much more small-cap side of the spectrum is American Railcar Industries ( ARII) another existing position that Icahn Associates added onto in the second quarter. American Railcar is a concentrated position for Icahn -- his firm's $43 million stake represents more than 55% of outstanding shares, giving him full control of the company.

As its name suggests, American railcar builds hopper and tank railcars. The firm also services railcars and provides fleet and design services. The ARII position is a sort of compliment to Navistar in that they're both secular bets on transportation -- only ARII is primed to do well if fuel prices continue to increase (rail transport is many times more efficient per ton shipped) whereas Navistar's trucks win out if crude stagnates. As a pure play on transportation, my money's on NAV over ARII.

While the latter is debt-neutral and has become respectably profitable in the last quarter, its income statement has also been a whole lot more volatile, impacted by much lower deal volume and long-term declines in revenues.

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