Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Flyer is jam packed with orders

Except a order from TriMet:

New Flyer Industries Inc. (TSX:NFI.UN) (“New Flyer” or the “Company”), the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in Canada and the United States, announced today that orders received during the first quarter of 2009 totaled 659 buses (671 equivalent production units or “EUs”) for a total of US $267 million. Of these orders, 304 buses (316 EUs) are new orders and 335 buses (355 EUs) are exercised options.  

These orders are from both current and new customers and are for a variety of vehicle configurations and propulsion systems, including 35-, 40- and 60-foot buses with clean diesel, diesel-electric hybrid and compressed natural gas (“CNG”) propulsion systems.  Just under 35% of the EUs representing these orders (or 233 EUs) are clean-propulsion (e.g., hybrid or natural gas) vehicles, which is a growing segment of New Flyer’s annual production. 

Some of the larger orders placed in the quarter include:

  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, TX has ordered 40 diesel buses with options for 152 additional buses.
  • Golden Empire Transit District in Bakersfield, CA has ordered 27 40-foot CNG buses with options for 50 additional buses.
  • Edmonton Transit in Edmonton, AB has exercised options to purchase 121 40-foot diesel buses.
  • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System in San Diego, CA has exercised options to purchase 38 40-foot CNG buses.
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia, PA has exercised options to purchase 40 40-foot diesel-electric buses.
  • Maryland Department of Transportation in Baltimore, MD has exercised options to purchase 100 40-foot diesel-electric buses.

New Flyer’s order backlog as of April 5, 2009 was 9,236 EUs, of which clean propulsion vehicles represents approximately 76% of New Flyer’s total backlog.  This compares to 9,531 EUs in backlog as at December 28, 2008.  The dollar value of the order backlog as of April 5, 2009 was approximately US $4.0 billion, compared to the US $4.1 billion backlog as of December 28, 2008.  Management attributes this minor decrease in total current backlog to transit agencies in the US awaiting approval for stimulus funding before converting options or placing new orders.

Many transit agencies in the US have or are in the process of submitting grant applications to access stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act.  The US Federal Transit Administration has advised that the deadline for transit agency grantees to submit applications for the first stimulus package is July 1, 2009 and grantees are required to obligate one-half of their apportionment of funds by September 1, 2009.  Projects must be announced by transit agencies within 360 days of February 17, 2009.   The second deadline to obligate funds is March 15, 2010.   Management understands that grantees have until 2015 to spend the funds.  Unobligated funds will revert back to the US Department of Treasury on September 30, 2010. These recovered funds will then be redistributed to other transit agencies.

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