Class I railroads release 4th quarter, annual earnings
In a press release Jan. 13, CSX announced record fourth-quarter and full-year financial results for revenue, operating income, net earnings and earnings per share. Net earnings for the railroad saw a 15 percent increase from $426 million from the same quarter last year to $491 million for the fourth quarter of 2014.
Revenue for the fourth quarter saw a five percent increase to $3.2 billion. Operating income also saw an increase of 11 percent to $901 million for the quarter, while operating ratio improved 140 basis points to 71.8 percent.
For the full year of 2014, CSX produced new all-time records for revenue of $12.7 billion, operating income of $3.6 billion, net earnings of $1.9 billion and earnings per share of $1.92. Operating ratio remained stable at 71.5 percent.
“CSX is capturing broad-based market strength, completing strategic infrastructure projects and adding resources to further improve service performance and leverage growth opportunities,” said Michael J. Ward, chairman, president and CEO of CSX. “Building on a foundation of strong safety and customer service, we expect to continue growing our intermodal and merchandise businesses faster than the economy, pricing above inflation and driving efficient asset utilization.”
Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.
Union Pacific railroad reports an increase in profits for the fourth quarter 2014 over the fourth quarter of 2013. UP reported a net income of $1.4 billion or $1.61 per diluted share, up 27 percent over last year’s $1.2 billion or $1.27 per diluted share for the same quarter, an all-time quarterly record for the railroad.
Operating income and operating ratio also made all-time quarterly records. Operating income totaled $2.4 billion, up 20 percent and operating ratio was up 3.6 points to 61.4 percent. Operating revenue also increased nine percent to $6.2 billion.
“Union Pacific achieved record quarterly financial results, driven by strong volumes, solid core pricing and productivity gains,” CEO Jack Koraleski said. “Robust volumes challenged our network for much of the year, and we remained focused on adding the necessary resources to safely improve service. We are encouraged with the progress we are making.”
Full year records were also set with diluted earnings per share, operating revenues, operating income and operating ratio.
Full year net income came in at $5.2 billion or $5.75 per diluted share over last year’s $4.4 billion or $4.71 per diluted share in 2013, 18 and 22 percent increases respectively. Operating revenue totaled a record $24.0 billion versus the $22.0 billion of 2013. Operating income saw an 18 percent increase to $8.8 billion.
“With 2014 behind us, we’re intently focused on the year ahead,” Koraleski said. “We’re entering the year well-resourced and we’re looking forward to safely providing efficient, value-added service for our customers, and increasing returns for our shareholders in 2015.”
Canadian Pacific railway announced the lowest quarterly operating ratio in the company’s history and records set in net income, operating ratio and earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2014.
The railway saw a 10 percent increase in revenues to an all-time high of C$1.76 billion. Net income rose to a record C$451 million or C$2.63 per diluted share. Operating ratio also saw a record 59.8 percent. Adjusted earnings for the fourth quarter jumped to C$460 million or C$2.68 per share over last year’s C$338 million or C$1.91 per share.
“I am proud of the team at CP, which continues to build momentum as we exited the year with double-digit revenue growth and a sub-60 operating ratio, proving again our ability to control costs while growing the top line,” CEO E. Hunter Harrison said. “In just two short years, CP has transformed from an industry laggard into a railway leader, and achieved its ambitious 2016 targets two full years ahead of schedule.”
CP also saw new records with their 2014 full-year results. Revenue climbed eight percent to an all-time high of C$6.62 billion for the railway, while operating ratio fell to a record 64.7 percent, a 520-basis point drop on an adjusted basis. Reported earnings per share rose 71 percent to a record C$8.46 while adjusted earnings per share also climbed 32 percent to C$8.50 for the year.
“CP’s remarkable transformation has allowed it to exceed its operational and financial goals for 2014, positioning the company to be nimble in the near-term and successful in the long run,” Harrison said. “CP fully recognizes the impact of short-term volatility in commodity prices, but given the diversity of its business and proven ability to control costs, we’re confident in our ability to execute on our plan going forward. We are just getting started.”
Kansas City Southern reports a record fourth quarter and record financials for the full year of 2014. The railroad saw record fourth quarter revenues of $643 million, an increase of four percent, with carload volumes five percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Operating income saw a nine percent increase to $214 million over the $196 million that was reported for the same quarter of 2013. Operating ratio for the railroad also saw an increase to 66.7 percent, a 1.4 improvement over the fourth quarter 2013 numbers of 68.1 percent. Diluted earnings per share came in at $1.28 and adjusted diluted earnings per share came in at $1.27.
The railroad reports that revenue for the year came in at a record $2.6 billion, up nine percent over 2013. Carloads for the railroad increased by five percent over 2013 numbers.
Operating income for the full year came in at $847 million, a 15 percent increase over operating income reported for 2013. Operating ratio for 2014 came in at 67.1 percent, a 1.7 point improvement over 2013’s reported 68.8 percent. Reported net income totaled $504 million or $4.55 per diluted share, compared with 2013’s reported $353 million or $3.18 per diluted share.
“Kansas City Southern achieved record financial results with growth in all six commodity groups in 2014,” CEO and President David L. Starling said. “KCS met its stated target of high-single digit year-over-year revenue growth. Looking ahead to 2015, we believe KCS is well-positioned to maintain its growth momentum driven by a strengthening economy and unique franchise opportunities.”
Norfolk Southern railroad reported fourth quarter and record 2014 full-year results in a press release held Jan. 26.
Operating revenues for the railroad for the fourth quarter of 2014 came in even with the fourth quarter of 2013 at $2.9 billion. Income from railway operations was $891 million. Net income totaled $511 million for the quarter. Operating expenses were down one percent to $2.0 billion. Diluted earnings per share came in at $1.64, while operating ratio improved one percent to 69.0 percent.
Full-year records were set for the railroad, with railway operating revenues coming in at a record $11.6 billion, a three percent increase over 2013. Income from railway operations came in at a record $3.6 billion, up 10 percent from 2013. Net income came in at $2.0 billion. Operating expenses were up one percent to $8 billion. Operating ratio came in at 69.2 percent; a three percent improvement over 2013’s reported 71.0 percent. Diluted earnings per share are at $6.39 for the year.
“Norfolk Southern delivered another solid quarter of financial performance, capping a record-setting year during which our company achieved its best results for revenues, operating income, net income, earnings per share and operating ratio,” CEO Wick Moorman said. “For 2015, we plan to invest $2.4 billion in capital investments to maintain the safety and quality of our rail network, enhance service, improve operational efficiency and support growth opportunities.”
Canadian National railway announced increased earnings for the fourth quarter and full-year of 2014. Net income for the fourth quarter increased to C$844 million versus the reported C$635 million recorded for the same quarter of 2013.
Diluted earnings per share saw an increase of 36 percent to C$1.03, while operating income also increased by 30 percent to C$1,260 million. Operating ratio improved 4.1 points to 60.7 percent for the quarter.
Full-year net income came in at C$3,167 million or C$3.76 per diluted share. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 23 percent for the year to C$3.76, with an adjusted net income of C$3,05 million. Car load volumes for the railway reached record levels for the year, up eight percent and revenue ton-miles up 10 percent.
CEO and President Claude Mongeau said, “CN delivered a strong fourth-quarter 2014 performance, concluding a remarkable year characterized by brutal first-quarter winter weather, followed by a strong rebound starting in March, and capped by record full-year freight volumes. CN is optimistic about its future prospects. The company is aiming to deliver double-digit earnings per share growth in 2015.”