Trinity's full-year revenue climbed 32% to $2.9 billion, which translated into $1.69 per share in earnings compared to a $0.27-per-share loss in 2004. Revenue in the fourth quarter rose 25% to $781.3 million, while earnings hit $0.49 a share, a nice recovery compared with an $0.08-per-share loss in Q4 2004.
Trinity's railcar manufacturing unit was responsible for more than half of the company's quarterly and yearly operating profit. The good news is that this business is likely to stay on the rails. Trinity is forecasting that railcar deliveries will fluctuate between 6,000 and 6,300 per quarter in 2006, up from 5,900 in 2005's fourth quarter and 5,700 in the third quarter.
This ongoing demand isn't too surprising, considering solid business trends at rail outfits like Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Looking at the firm's other major units, there isn't a lot to complain about. In January, the company's barge business signed a long-term contract to manufacture cargo units for Ingram Barge. In addition, the construction business remains strong, and Trinity is experiencing solid growth in its Energy Equipment Group, which is benefiting from growing demand for wind turbine towers. Aside from the issue of raw-material costs, Trinity looks positioned to keep rolling along.
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Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.