May 08, 2018 • 11:00 am ET

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Heather Jones with Vertical Group. Your line is now open.

Analyst
Heather Jones

Good morning.

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

Good morning, Heather.

Analyst
Heather Jones

So I have a quick question on the cost savings. How much of that $20 million was realized in '17. Trying to get to the year-on-year delta for that?

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

We don't have any specifics since it's on a run rate basis. So we continue to see it in a broad base of savings. Some of it was headcount reduction and process optimization and reduction in flat costs. We also have some margin improvements. So it's continuing to build as we go through the year.

Analyst
Heather Jones

But I mean, there's cost where they've implemented in late '17, so you'll get most of the benefit this year or--

Executive
Anne Rex

Heather, this is Anne. Yeah, we will achieve most of those this year.

Analyst
Heather Jones

Okay. Okay. And then on the rail leasing side. So you talked about higher utilizations. Are you seeing a bottoming in lease -- am I -- are you all (inaudible) feedback?

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

Yeah. You just broke up, you said we're seeing the bottoming and what did you say lease rates? I didn't hear you.

Analyst
Heather Jones

In lease rates. Are you seeing a bottom -- like are you seeing those stabilized?

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

Yeah, I think we're seeing some stabilization. Like we said, it's creeping up. It's really by car type and segment. We're getting gradual improvements. I think the highlight we pointed out, we're evaluating more similar older cars because scrap prices right up high -- the highest level since October 14. So that's one thing we're looking at on some of our idle cars. But lease rates are slowly improving. Let's put it that way.

Analyst
Heather Jones

Okay. And then I want to talk about. So your evaluation like right now you all are down close to 10% today. And on a price to book, you all are near three and five year -- three and five year lows. So just wondering like, do you ever consider doing a share repurchase, which normally, for a company as illiquid as this, I wouldn't think was a great idea. But given just the very depressed valuation that's just getting worse. I was wondering, is that something that the board has considered doing with y'all's funds?

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

I don't want to talk about share buyback. It's something that the board has the authority and privilege to do and it's a tool that can be used, but there's no specific plans at this time to do that. But it's something that's evaluated on a regular basis.

Analyst
Heather Jones

So I mean, did that what has management and the board think of -- think about where the shares are trading?

Executive
Patrick E. Bowe

Yeah, like you said, I think I'm disappointed with where shares are trading because the underlying values of some of our business are quite strong. We've talked about what's happening in the grain business, in the ethanol business. We've been direct about some of the challenges in fertilizer. And that looks