Archive for February 8th, 2013
Rail products manufacturer L.B. Foster reported its net income in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $6.7 million, increasing 9% from $6.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“The fourth quarter turned out to be a strong finish for the year,” said Robert P. Bauer, L.B. Foster’s president and chief executive officer, in a written statement. “I am particularly encouraged by the 19% increase in pretax income and our ability to reach 7.7% pretax profit margins in a quarter with just under $141 million in net sales. This is a nice way to finish a year in which we recorded some substantial quality costs in the second and third quarters. Excluding those quality costs in both years, the Company would have reported full year pretax income from continuing operations of $45.0 million, an increase of 13.6% over 2011. This has put us in a position where I believe the Company has substantially improved its profitability, is generating nice cash flow, and is in a position to fund the strategic plans aimed at increasing our growth rate over the next five years.”
For the full year of 2012, profit was $16.2 million, falling 29% from $22.9 million in 2011.
Net sales for 2012 were $588.5 million, increasing by $13.2 million, or 2.3%, due to a 17.5% increase in rail segment sales and a 50.8% improvement in tubular segment sales, partially offset by a 25.7% decline in construction segment sales.
L.B. Foster expects the construction business to turn positive in 2013 and expects sales growth to be between 5% and 6.5%, the company said.
The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has proposed several changes to its general purpose costing system, the Uniform Railroad Costing System.
The board is proposing to adjust the manner in which URCS calculates certain system-average unit costs to better reflect railroad operations. The proposal will automatically reflect economies of scale relative to shipment-size increases, eliminating the current need for a separate mathematical adjustment referred to as the “make-whole adjustment.”
The board also is proposing to make a number of changes to URCS that it says would result in more accurate movement costs, and to change two of the agency’s reporting requirements.
URCS enables the board to determine a railroad’s variable costs of providing rail transportation service, the jurisdictional threshold in rate disputes between railroads and their customers, and whether challenged rates are reasonable. URCS also is used in proceedings involving proposed rail-line abandonments.