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Here's Why Shares of Trinity Industries Dropped on Thursday

Lou Whiteman, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of Trinity Industries (NYSE: TRN) fell 11.6% on Thursday after the rail car manufacturer reported second-quarter results that fell short of expectations, the second straight quarter that results have landed with a thud. The company maintained its full-year guidance despite the miss, but investors don't seem persuaded.

So what

After markets closed Wednesday, Trinity said it earned $0.29 per share in the second quarter on revenue of $736 million. The results fell short of analyst expectations for $0.31 per share in earnings, on sales of $781 million.

A row of tanker cars lined up outside a rail station.

Image source: Getty Images.

The results were well above the year-ago quarter. The company reported net income of $37.2 million, up from $35.9 million in the same three months of 2018. And revenue, though short of expectations, was well above the $634 million in quarterly sales recorded last year.

CEO Timothy R. Wallace said that a combination of trade tensions and rivals' discounts ate into demand, but that Trinity still expects to deliver 35% more rail cars in 2019 than it did last year.

"Economic headlines continued to impede rail-car demand momentum during the quarter," Wallace said. "There were a number of transactions in the market for new rail cars during the second quarter where the economic terms did not align with the financial criteria we have established."

Now what

Despite the miss, Trinity reiterated its forecast for full-year earnings between $1.15 and $1.35 per share. There isn't a lot of wiggle room there, as analysts are expecting $1.34, but Wallace said that he expects better product mix in the second half that should help pricing and drive profitability.

Given the prospect of trade wars and uncertainty about the transportation sector, the company deserves credit for holding on to pricing discipline even if it meant a slight miss for the quarter.

For patient long-term holders, Trinity's second-quarter miss could represent a good opportunity.

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Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.