UPDATE 1-FreightCar America posts Q4 loss; sees tough 2010

Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:05am EST

* Q4 loss/shr $0.47 vs year-ago EPS $1.01

* Q4 revenue down 82 pct

Feb 18 (Reuters) - FreightCar America Inc (RAIL.O) posted a fourth-quarter loss due to continued volume weakness and a decline in gross margin, and said it does not expect market conditions to materially improve in 2010.

"We expect that the new car market in 2010 will be even more difficult than in 2009," CEO Ed Whalen said in a statement.

He said the railcar maker continues to evaluate market adjacent strategic initiatives to broaden its revenue sources, including refurbishment, after-market parts and services and international expansion.

For the fourth quarter, net loss was $5.5 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with a net income of $12 million, or $1.01 a share, a year ago.

Revenue tumbled 82 percent to $49.4 million. Gross margin was 6.8 percent, compared to 10.1 percent, a year ago.

Railcar deliveries totaled 697 units in the quarter. Total backlog of unfilled orders was 265 units at the end of the quarter.

Shares of the company were trading at $20.70 before the bell. They closed at $21.40 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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