CHICAGO — FreightCar America Inc. reported results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009 with sales of $49.4 million and a net loss of $5.5 million, or $0.47 per diluted share.
Sales for the quarter were down 10 percent from third quarter 2009 sales of $55.1 million and down significantly over fourth quarter 2008 sales of $271.9 million. Railcar deliveries totaled 697 units in the quarter, compared to 695 units delivered in the third quarter of 2009 and 3,624 units delivered in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The gross margin rate for the fourth quarter was 6.8 percent, compared to 12.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009 and 10.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, reflecting a decline in new car margins.
The fourth quarter 2009 net loss of $5.5 million compares to third quarter 2009 earnings of $1.1 million and fourth quarter 2008 earnings of $12.0 million. The significant decline in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009 was driven by continuing volume weakness, a decline in gross margin rate and increased SG&A expenses due to severance and pension plan suspension costs.
Total backlog of unfilled orders was 265 units at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 777 units at the end of the third quarter of 2009 and 2,424 units at the end of 2008. However, so far in 2010 the Company has received additional orders for more than 3,000 new railcars to be manufactured and delivered over the course of 2010 and 2011. In addition, since year-end, the Company has received an order for more than 500 used cars from its existing inventory.