After suffering through its worst month of the year in July, the WorkBoat Index recouped about a third of the losses in August. For the month, winners topped losers 20-11. In July, only one company was in the black.
Among the big percentage gainers in August was Trinity Industries. The Dallas-based railcar and barge manufacturer gained 11% in August after it beat second-quarter earnings estimates by 25 cents a share and also topped revenue projections. The company’s Inland Barge Group reported revenues of $165.4 million compared to revenues of $150 million in the second quarter of 2013. Operating profit for the barge group was $30.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared to $20.9 million a year earlier. The barge group received orders of $124.1 million during the quarter, and as of June 30, had a backlog of $467 million compared to a backlog of $508 million on March 31.
“During the second quarter, the Inland Barge Group reported a 48% year-over-year increase in operating profit, primarily resulting from a change in product mix,” William A. McWhirter, senior vice president and group president of the Inland Barge Group, said during the company’s second quarter earnings call. “Our production visibility in this business stretches into 2015. We are optimistic that inquiries for hopper barges will increase as stronger exports of corn, wheat and soybeans, as well as replenishment of coal stockpiles for the summer cooling season, are expected to increase barge traffic along the inland waterways. The outlook for the fall harvest is also very good. Demand drivers for tank barges continue to be favorable with backlogs in the industry stretching into 2015.”