American Railcar Industries, Inc. reported a sharp drop in earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009, excluding the impact of investment gains, as the company’s operations suffered from a sharp drop in orders for railcars.

American Railcar Industries, Inc. reported net income of $10.5 million, or $0.50 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, on revenues of $78.5 million. The company benefited from an $11.6 million, or $0.54 per share, after tax gain from short term investment activity in the quarter.

American Railcar Industries, Inc. earned $7.6 million, or $0.35 per share, on revenues of $203.0 million in the same quarter of 2008.

The company saw a huge drop in business due to the recession and financial crisis. American Railcar shipped 610 railcars in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to 1,870 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“Railcar shipments in 2009 were significantly lower than in 2008 due to the railcar market being affected by a weak economy. Our railcar services segment experienced a 13% growth in revenues in 2009 as compared to 2008 and an increase in gross profit margin due to the completion of several expansion projects in 2009 that have generated higher volumes and increased efficiencies,” said James Cowan, the CEO of American Railcar Industries, Inc.