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Greenbrier Quarterly Profits Disappoint Analysts

The Lake Oswego-based railroad car manufactuer, Greenbrier, reported quarterly profits less than half of what analysts expected Thursday.

In a conference call with investors, managers say the company’s backlog of orders has shrunk and it’s facing a higher tax bill than expected.

But chief financial officer, Mark Rittenbaum, put a positive spin on the numbers.

“In fiscal 2012 we delivered record revenue and net earnings and cash provided by operating activities for the fiscal year were a record $116 million,” Rittenbaum said.

Greenbrier, like many companies, struggled during the recession. It employed about 1200 workers at its factory in North Portland in 2007. But two years later, that number had dropped to fewer than 700.

Last year, however, Greenbrier enjoyed rapid growth as strong demand from the energy sector enabled it to increase rail car production and raise prices.

Employment numbers have climbed back close to 1,000.

Still, shares sank 15 percent as a result of not meeting market estimates Thursday. The stock is down 39 percent so far this year.

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