Posts Tagged ‘Class I railroads’

United Rail Unions sue to block carriers from modifying Healthcare benefits without bargaining

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 7, 2020) — On August 5, 2020, 12 rail unions whose members and their families are covered by the NRC/UTU Plan and the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan filed suit against the nation’s Class I railroad carriers in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The suit asks the court to force the carriers to bargain in good faith with the unions over mandatory subjects of bargaining. The involved issues have been the subject of collective bargaining for decades and are in fact part of the carriers’ bargaining notices served on November 1, 2019, pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (RLA). At issue are carrier attempts to restrict access to certain medications and to forcibly reconfigure health care networks.

The unions are: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen; the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes; the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Mechanical Division; the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the National Conference of Fireman & Oilers District, Local 32BJ, SEIU; the Transportation Communications Union/IAM; and the Transport Workers Union.

The rail carriers are: BNSF Railway Company; Kansas City Southern Railway Company; CSX Transportation; Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company; Norfolk Southern Railway Company; Soo Line Railway Company; and Union Pacific Railway Company. Also named in the suit is the National Railway Labor Conference (NRLC), whose National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) is the designated bargaining agent of the railroads.

The unions have asked the court to:

  • issue a declaratory judgment that the carriers are obligated to bargain in good faith with the unions on proposed health and welfare changes in accordance with the collective bargaining procedures outlined under the RLA;
  • issue a declaratory judgment that health and welfare plan design changes are a mandatory subject of collective bargaining pursuant to the RLA;
  • issue a declaratory judgment that the NRLC may not force plan design changes upon its employees without the agreement of the unions, to be achieved through the mandatory dispute resolution process of the RLA;
  • issue an order enjoining the NRLC from trying to force these health and welfare changes via arbitration rather than addressing them in collective bargaining; and
  • issue an order requiring the NRLC to engage in good faith negotiations with the unions over their proposed health and welfare changes through the RLA’s major dispute resolution procedures.

The chief executives of the 12 unions issued the following statement concerning the lawsuit:

The railroads’ attempt to evade their legal obligation to bargain on these issues of great importance to our members has left us with no choice but to enforce these legal rights in court. If implemented without successfully negotiated application, the carriers’ proposals could be extremely harmful to our members and their families. Even more outrageous, the process they are attempting to impose would allow rail carriers to reduce employees’ access to medicines and doctors in the middle of a pandemic. When they should be rewarding the contributions of their essential employees with hazard pay, the rail carriers instead attempt to reduce medical benefits when they are needed most. Events like these are why railroad managers were labeled as “Robber Barons” over a century ago; their actions today are proof positive that the label still applies. Unfortunately for working class Americans, this is the way of many corporations across the country in Donald Trump’s America; essential employees are treated as expendable employees. We will not stand idly by while management attacks the core legal rights our members enjoy.

Updates will be provided as developments warrant.

Read this release in PDF form.
Read the case filing. (PDF)

Amtrak releases on-time report card for host railroads

National passenger carrier Amtrak released its 2018 Host Railroad Report Card, which grades six of the Class I freight host railroads based on delays caused to Amtrak trains over the last 12 months.

The grades ranged from A to F, with Canadian Pacific being the lone recipient of an “A.” Norfolk Southern got an “F.”

All told, Amtrak averaged the overall performance of the Class I host railroads at a “C.”

Eleven of 28 Amtrak state-hosted routes achieved 80 percent on-time performance (within 15 minutes of scheduled departure), according to the report card.

Conversely, only one of the 15 long-distance routes, the “Auto Train,” had on-time performance of more than 70 percent, Amtrak said.

See the full report card (PDF) by following this link.

Capital expenditures for U.S. Class I’s largely flat for 2019

Capital expenditures in 2019 will largely remain flat from the previous year for five of seven U.S. Class I railroads, according to financial reports released by the carriers.

BNSF spent $3.4 billion in 2018 and is one of two carriers that plan to increase capital expenditure spending. The railroad announced a $3.57 billion spending plan for 2019 on Feb. 13, an increase of 5 percent over the year prior.

Canadian National will invest approximately $2.94 billion (U.S.) in its capital spending program with $1.2 billion targeted toward track and railway infrastructure maintenance — an amount similar to what was spent last year. The remainder will largely be used to acquire new locomotives, the carrier said.

Canadian Pacific Railway’s spending will stay at $1.2 billion (U.S.), according to the carrier’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings statements.

CSX’s capital spending budget will come in somewhere between $1.6 and $1.7 billion, the company said, also at about the same level as the year prior.

Kansas City Southern announced a planned increase of spending from $530 million in 2018 to between $640 million and $660 million. The increase is mostly because of the planned $140 million acquisition of new locomotives, KCS officials said. The carrier said spending on maintenance of way and other engineering projects will be at the same level as the previous year.

Norfolk Southern company officials said at a February investors conference that 2019 capital expenditure levels for 2019 would be between 16 and 18 percent of revenue in the range of $1.8 and $1.9 billion, a level consistent with the $1.8 billion the carrier allocated for capital expenditures in 2018.

Union Pacific committed to $3.2 billion in capital spending for 2019, the same amount it says it invested in 2018, according to its fourth quarter earnings filing.

Genesee and Wyoming, a large operator of American short-line railroads, expects to increase its capital expenditures by about $10 million in 2019, it announced in early February. In 2018, G&W spent $205.7 million; G&W expects to spend $215 million this year.

Class I’s announce 2016 first quarter financial results

CSX_logoCSX Corporation announced declining financial results for the first quarter 2016. Net earnings for the railroad decreased to $356 million or $0.37 per share, down from first quarter 2015 reported net earnings of $442 million or $0.45 per share.

“As we managed through the impact of the continued coal decline and other market forces during the first quarter, CSX took aggressive actions to improve efficiency, reduce costs and streamline resources across the network to further reshape the company,” CEO Michael J. Ward said.

Revenue for the quarter declined 14 percent, reflecting a lower fuel recovery, a 5 percent volume decline and a $95 million year-over-year decline in other revenue. Expenses also decreased by 12 percent, driven by efficiency gains of $133 million and lower volume-related costs of $64 million. CSX reported a decrease to operating income of $139 million to $704 million. At the same time, the operating ratio increased 90 basis points year-over-year to 73.1 percent.

“While CSX delivered strong efficiency gains in the first quarter, we continue to expect full-year earnings per share to decline in 2016 as a result of ongoing coal headwinds combined with other market fundamentals. At the same time, CSX remains focused on meeting and exceeding customer expectations while driving further efficiency savings to maximize shareholder value and achieve a mid-60s operating ratio longer term.”

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.

 

KCS_rail_logoIn a press release April 19, Kansas City Southern (KCS) released their first quarter 2016 financial results.

Revenue decreased by 7 percent to $563 million. Operating income increased 5 percent to $188 million. Carload volumes for the quarter were 5 percent lower than in the first quarter 2015. Revenue declined 1 percent.

Operating expenses decreased by 12 percent to $375 million. Operating ratio came in at 66.6 percent, a 2.3 point improvement as compared with the reported 70.5 percent of the first quarter 2015. Diluted earnings per share were $0.99. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.03.

“Despite flooding that shut down key portions of our U.S. rail network for over three weeks, KCS delivered solid earnings and operating results,” said CEO David L. Starling. “That we overcame this very significant challenge while simultaneously scaling costs across the network clearly demonstrates KCS’ ability to react quickly to rapid and unexpected changes to its operating environment.”

 

CP_Logo_RGBCanadian Pacific Railway (CP) announced its lowest-ever first quarter operating ratio of 58.9 percent and diluted earnings per share of C$3.51 (an 83 percent increase from C$1.92) or adjusted diluted earnings per share of C$2.50 (an 11 percent increase from C$2.26) for the first quarter 2016. CP reports that their operating ratio improved 430 basis points year-over-year and for a third straight quarter was below 60 percent. At 58.9 percent, operating ratio is the lowest-ever when compared to adjusted operating ratios in previous quarters, CP said.

“The precision railroading model works in all economic environments,” said CP CEO E. Hunter Harrison. “Despite weakness in the economy and volume headwinds, we focused on what we can control – our costs and our commitment to providing reliable service – and delivered a record performance.”

Revenues for the railroad were down 4 percent to C$1.59 billion from 2015’s first quarter revenues of C$1.67 billion. Operating income increased 7 percent to C$653 million from C$612 million. Net income rose 69 percent to C$540 million from C$320 million. Adjusted income was up 2 percent to C$384 million from the reported C$375 million of the first quarter last year.

“I am proud of what the team continues to produce quarter after quarter in these difficult times and we remain optimistic in our outlook given signs of stabilization within the Canadian economy and in key global markets,” Harrison said. “As market conditions improve and volumes increase, our team of professional railroaders will be ready. Furthermore, we are confident in our plan to deliver shareholder value, which includes the announcement of a new share repurchase program that demonstrates our continued confidence over the long-term.”

 

union_pacific_logoUnion Pacific Corporation (UP) reported declines in first quarter 2016 revenues.

Operating revenue was down 14 percent to $4.8 billion. The railroad reported a first quarter net income of nearly $1.0 billion or $1.16 per diluted share, down 11 percent as compared to last year’s first quarter of $1.2 billion or $1.30 per diluted share. Operating income was down 15 percent to $1.7 billion and operating ratio went up 0.3 points to 65.1 percent.

“In this challenging environment, we have continued our intense focus on operating safely and efficiently, managing our resources, and improving our customer experience,” said CEO Lance Fritz. “As a result, the quarterly operating ratio came in at 65.1 percent, up only 0.3 points from last year, as solid core pricing and productivity improvements helped to offset an 8 percent decline in total volumes.”

 

ns_LogoNorfolk Southern Corporation (NS) announced strong financial results for the first quarter 2016.

Income from railway operations was up 19 percent to $723 million; while net income also saw a 25 percent increase to $387 million as compared to last year’s first quarter reported $310 million. NS reported that a first quarter record was set for operating ratio, which came in at 70.1 percent. Diluted earnings per share were $1.29, up 29 percent as compared with the reported diluted earnings per share of $1.00 for the first quarter 2015.

Railway operating revenues fell 6 percent to $2.4 billion, while operating expenses also decreased 13 percent to $1.7 billion.

“Our strong first-quarter results demonstrate the significant progress we are making in line with our strategic plan,” said CEO James A. Squires. “Since I became CEO in June, our team has been committed to streamlining operations, reducing expenses and maintaining superior customer service levels. Our focus on strengthening Norfolk Southern is yielding results, and the company is now on track to achieve productivity savings of about $200 million and an operating ratio below 70 in 2016.”

NS is implementing a strategic plan to reduce costs, drive profitability and enhance value for all NS shareholders. Through this plan, NS expects to achieve annual productivity savings of more than $650 million by 2020 and an operating ratio below 65 percent by 2020.

 

CN_red_logoCanadian National Railway (CN) announced mostly positive financial results for the first quarter 2016.

The railway reported a 13 percent increase in net income to C$792 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 16 percent to C$1.00. Operating income also increased 14 percent to C$1,217 million. CN reported a decrease in revenues by 4 percent to C$2,964 million. Carloadings declined 7 percent and revenue ton-miles also declined 9 percent. Operating expenses saw a decline of 14 percent to C$1,747 million. Operating ratio improved 6.8 points to 58.9 percent.

CEO Claude Mongeau said, “CN delivered a very solid quarterly performance in a challenging economic environment. We successfully aligned our resources with the reduced volume level to achieve strong efficiency gains, while continuing to offer superior customer service and significantly improving our safety performance. These achievements allowed the CN team to deliver record first-quarter financial results.”

Second quarter financial results in for Class I railroads

CSX_logoCSX Corporation announced all-time record quarterly financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Operating income for the railroad came in at more than $1 billion for the first time in company history. The railroad also saw an all-time record in operating ratio of 68.8 percent.

Net earnings came in at $553 million or an all-time record of $0.56 per share, an increase from the reported $529 million or $0.53 per share of the second quarter of 2014. CSX expects to deliver mid-to-high single digit earnings per share growth for 2015.

“While we saw challenges in a number of markets, CSX employees delivered an even safer, more reliable and more differentiated service product this quarter,” Chairman and CEO Michael J. Ward said. “We expect the momentum in network performance we saw in the second quarter to accelerate, continuing to create value for our customers and shareholders.”

Revenue declined six percent due to the impact of lower fuel recovery. At the same time, continued low fuel prices and savings from efficiency initiatives reduced expenses for the railroad by nine percent.

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.

 

KCS_rail_logoKansas City Southern reported a decrease in earnings in a press release July 17. The railroad reportedly saw a 10 percent decrease in revenue to $586 million as compared to the second quarter of 2014.

Operating income saw a decrease of 13 percent to $187 million. Operating ratio saw a 1.1-point increase to 68.1 percent compared with last year’s second quarter operating ratio of 68.3 percent. Reported net income totaled $112 million or $1.01 per share, a 15 percent decrease compared to the reported $130 million or $1.18 per diluted share for the second quarter 2014.

Overall, the railroad reported that carload volumes were six percent lower for the quarter. Second quarter revenue declined in all commodity groups except chemicals and petroleum, which grew by one percent. However, operating expenses also saw a decrease of eight percent to $399 million.

“KCS continued to scale its operations in both the U.S. and Mexico and has made strides in improving its network fluidity,” stated CEO David L. Starling. “Our actions contributed to the company attaining a solid second quarter operating ratio despite volume challenges, particularly in its energy commodity group. We expect our system performance and operating metrics to continue to improve throughout the remainder of the year.

“As evidenced in the weekly industry carload data, there are still uncertainties in many of the primary markets served by rail. However, KCS’ average daily volumes increased each month throughout the second quarter and the initial results from the first few weeks of July suggest the positive trend may be continuing.”

 

CN_red_logoCanadian National Railway reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2015. Net income saw an increase to C$886 million or C$1.10 per diluted share, over last year’s reported C$847 million or C$1.03 per diluted share for the same quarter. These results included a deferred income tax expense of C$42 million (C$0.05 per diluted share) resulting from the enactment of a higher provincial corporate income tax rate.

Excluding the deferred income tax expense, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 12 percent to C$1.15 as compared to last year’s second quarter reported diluted earnings per share of C$1.03.

Operating income saw an increase of eight percent to C$1,362 million, while revenues for the quarter were flat at C$3,125 million. Carloadings decreased by three percent and revenue ton-miles declined by seven percent.

Operating ratio for the railway improved by 3.2 points to 56.4 percent over last year’s reported 59.6 percent.

“I’m proud of our very solid second quarter results, driven by the team’s swift action to recalibrate resources and double-down on efficiency, while continuing to improve customer service,” President and CEO Claude Mongeau said. “We’re focused on our long-term agenda and investing C$2.7 billion in CN’s capital program this year to support it, with an emphasis on the integrity and safety of the network.”

 

cp-logo-240In a press release June 21, Canadian Pacific Railway announced the highest-ever net income for the second quarter and the lowest operating ratio for the period in the company’s history.

Net income rose to a record quarterly high of C$390 million or C$2.36 per diluted share, an improvement of 12 percent. Adjusted earnings per share gained 16 percent to C$2.45. Revenues for the railway remained unchanged at C$1.65 billion.

Operating income climbed 10 percent to C$646 million. Operating ratio fell to a second-quarter record of 60.9 percent, a 420-basis-point improvement. Adjusted earnings per share advanced 16 percent to C$2.45.

“CP remains disciplined during this period of economic uncertainty in identifying opportunities to control costs and improve efficiency to offset near-term headwinds,” CEO E. Hunter Harrison said. “Even in the face of this economic slowdown, CP’s commitment to providing the best service at the lowest cost will continue to serve us well moving forward.”

 

union_pacific_logoUnion Pacific reported a decrease in earnings for the second quarter in a press release June 23. Operating revenue was down 10 percent to $5.4 billion as compared to the second quarter of 2014. Net income for the railroad came in at $1.2 billion or $1.38 per diluted share, a three percent decline as compared to last year’s reported net income of $1.3 billion or $1.43 per diluted share.

Operating income is down 11 percent to $1.9 billion. UP’s operating ratio of 64.1 percent is 0.6 points worse compared to the second quarter of 2014. The company also repurchased 8.0 million shares in the second quarter at an aggregate cost of $834 million.

“Solid core pricing gains were not enough to overcome a significant decrease in demand,” President and CEO Lance Fritz said. “Total volumes in the second quarter were down six percent, led by a sharp decline in coal. Industrial products and agricultural products also posted significant volume decreases. However, we made meaningful progress right sizing our resources to current volumes, and I am encouraged to report that we made these improvements while posting strong safety performance.

“While the volume outlook remains uncertain, we remain laser focused on operating safely and efficiently no matter what the market environment. We will continue to reduce costs and improve productivity as we further align resources with demand. Longer term, we continue to be optimistic about the strengths of our diverse rail franchise.”

 

ns_LogoNorfolk Southern railroad reported decreased earnings results for the second quarter of 2015.

Net income for the quarter was $433 million, a 23 percent decrease compared to the $562 million record set in the same quarter of 2014. Operating revenues saw a decrease of 11 percent to $2.7 billion, a result of lower fuel surcharges and coal volumes. Gains in intermodal and merchandise traffic were offset by losses in coal volumes.

Income from railway operations declined 20 percent to $814 million. Railway operating expenses also saw a decrease of six percent to $1.9 billion. Diluted earnings per share came in at $1.41. NS’s railway operating ratio was 70.0 percent.

“While we face short-term pressure, particularly as we clear fuel surcharge revenue and coal headwinds, Norfolk Southern is well positioned to continue improving service, which will reduce costs and add value to our customers,” CEO James A. Squires said. “Growth within the intermodal franchise, consumer spending, housing-related momentum and improved manufacturing activity all support an optimistic longer-term outlook. We have a strong legacy of success, and we are taking the right steps to continue value creation for our customers, the communities we serve, our employees and our shareholders.”

Class I railroads report first quarter earnings

CSX_logoCSX reported to the public its first quarter 2014 earnings and dividend increase. The railroad announced net earnings of $398 million or $.040 per share. This is a decrease from last year’s first quarter reports of $462 million or $0.45 per share.

However, revenue for the quarter grew two percent to $3 billion on volume increases of three percent, with strength in merchandise markets and intermodal offsetting the declines in coal shipments.

Operating income for the railroad declined 16 percent to $739 million, while operating ratio increased 520 basis points to 75.5 percent, due to harsh weather. CSX estimates that weather interruptions in service increased expenses by around six cents per share. Optimistically, CSX expects modest full-year earnings growth in 2014.

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.

“The company is indebted to the dedicated men and women of CSX who worked tirelessly through one of the worst winters on record to keep the network running as fluidly as possible,” Chairman, President and CEO Michael J. Ward. “Thanks to the hard work of our employees, service levels are gradually recovering, and we are capitalizing on an economy that continues to show positive momentum.”

 

KCS_rail_logoIn an announcement made April 16, Kansas City Southern reported record first quarter revenues and carloads. Revenues for the first quarter were $607 million, an increase of 10 percent more than last year’s first quarter. The railroad also saw a four percent increase in carloads for the quarter.

Operating income came in at $160 million, but excluding lease termination costs, adjusted operating income came in at $190 million, a 17 percent increase over last year’s first quarter. The railroad saw an operating ratio of 73.7 percent or an adjusted operating ratio of 68.7 percent. This is a 1.8-point improvement over last year.

Diluted earning per share came in at $0.85 or adjusted diluted earnings per share were at $1.05 for the first quarter of 2014. This is an 18 percent increase over the first quarter of 2013. Net income came in at $94 million.

“We are pleased with how our company performed during the first quarter,” President and CEO David L. Starling said. “All six commodity groups reported year-over-year revenue gains led by Agriculture and Minerals, which increased 40 percent over the prior year. Later in the first quarter, we also recorded higher than expected utility coal volumes and revenues as a result of higher natural gas prices, which made coal a more competitive option benefitting certain plants we serve.

“While it is still early in the second quarter, KCS business levels have improved in April. The indication that our core business appears to be gaining strength provides us with positive momentum towards achieving the 2014 goals we outlined to investors in January.”

 

union_pacific_logoUnion Pacific reported a record first quarter in an earnings announcement made April 17. The railroad reports a net income of $1.1 billion or $2.38 per diluted share, up from the first quarter 2013 reports of $957 million or $2.03 per diluted share. Taht is a 17 percent increase over last year.

Operating revenues totaled $5.6 billion, up seven percent over last year’s first quarter operating revenue of $5.3 billion. Business volumes, which are measured by total revenue carloads, increased five percent. Agricultural products, industrial products, coal, intermodal and automotive all increased in volume for the quarter. Freight revenue increased a total of six percent for the quarter.

Operating ratio for the railroad was at 67.1 percent, a first quarter record and 2.0 points better than the first quarter of 2013. Operating income was up 14 percent to $1.85 billion.

“As we look forward, we’re watching the economy very closely, as well as the potential impacts of weather, particularly on our coal and grain business,” Jack Koraleski, CEO, said. “There’s still a lot of year ahead of us, but we are seeing signs of gradual economic improvement, and we’re encouraged by the opportunities it presents. With the power and potential of the Union Pacific franchise, we’ll leverage these opportunities to drive record financial performance and shareholder returns this year and in the years to come.

“We’re proud of the efforts of the men and women of Union Pacific, who worked tirelessly to serve our customers despite these weather challenges and helped us achieve such a solid start to the year.”

 

cp-logo-240In an announcement made early April 22, Canadian Pacific said the first quarter of 2014 had the best first quarter financial results in the company’s history.

The company saw a 16 percent increase in year-over-year improvement in earnings per share with a reported C$254 million or C$1.44 per diluted share. The first quarter of 2013 only reported C$217 million or C$1.24 per share.

Total revenues for the railway came in at C$1,509 million, an increase of one percent over last year’s first quarter. Operating expenses saw a four percent decrease to C$1,086 million. While operating income saw a 17 percent increase to C$423 million. Operating ratio also saw an improvement to 72.0 percent, a 380 basis point improvement.

“CP delivered solid results in a period that was severely impacted by extraordinary cold and severe winter weather conditions,” CEO E. Hunter Harrison said. “In the face of such difficult operating conditions, I am particularly proud of the women and men of CP who remained on the job 24/7, to keep the railway operating.

“Despite a slow start to the year and the reduced capacity which limited our ability to meet strong customer demand, we still have the utmost confidence in our ability to achieve our financial targets for 2014.”

 

CN_red_logoCanadian National railway reported increases in revenues in a teleconference held late April 22. The railway reports a net income for the first quarter 2014 of C$623 million or C$0.75 per diluted share. Net income for the same quarter of 2013 was only at C$555 million or C$0.65 per diluted share.

The company saw a five percent increase of operating income to C$820 million. Revenues saw a nine percent increase to C$2,693 million, while revenue ton-miles also saw a five percent increase and carloads saw a one percent increase.

Operating ratio for the railway deteriorated 1.2 points to 69.6 percent. The previous year’s quarter reported operating ratio at 68.4 percent. Free cash flow for the first quarter of this year came in at C$494 million, quite an increase over last year’s C$151 million.

“CN delivered solid first quarter results thanks to a dedicated team of railroaders who labored long and hard to keep us rolling through the harshest winter in decades,” CEO and President Claude Mongeau said. “The winter of a lifetime took its toll on network capacity and affected all of our customers, but I’m pleased that CN’s recovery is now well underway, with key safety, operating and service metrics returning to pre-winter levels.

“Witch continued focus on supply chain collaboration and solid execution, CN is reaffirming its 2014 financial outlook and increasing its capital envelope to C$2.25 billion in support of its commitment to growth, efficiency and safety.”

 

ns_LogoNorfolk Southern reported its first quarter financial results April 23. Net income for the railroad saw a decrease to $368 million or $1.17 per diluted share for the first quarter 2014. Net income for the same quarter of 2013 was at $450 million or $1.41 per diluted share. Although, $60 million or $0.19 per diluted share of the $450 million was due to a gain from a land sale.

Operating revenues for the railroad totaled $2.7 billion, a two percent decrease from first quarter 2013. Shipment volumes also decreased by one percent during the quarter. Income from railway operations came in at $667 million, three percent lower than last year.

Operating expenses for the first quarter came in at $2 billion, a one percent decrease from the same quarter of 2013. Operating ratio for the railroad was 75.2 percent versus 74.8 percent for the same period last year.

“Following the extreme winter weather across the U.S. rail network which impacted first-quarter results, we are seeing a rebound in shipments across all of our business,” said Wick Moorman, CEO. “Our people responded admirably to meet the challenges of the harsh conditions, and we remain focused on delivering superior service to our customers.”

Class I employment flat in 4th quarter

The U.S. Class I workforce expanded slightly in November, then contracted a bit in December, according to employment data recently compiled and released by the Surface Transportation Board (STB).

As of mid-November 2013, the large U.S. roads employed 163,199 people, up less than 0.1 percent from October’s level and 0.3 percent from November 2012’s count.

Read the complete story at Progressive Railroading.

Class I railroads release 4th quarter earnings

CSX_logoCSX Corporation announced its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2013 Jan. 15. The railroad reported net earnings of $426 million or $0.42 per share for the fourth quarter. These earnings were down from the same quarter in 2012, with earnings of $449 million or $0.44 per share. Earnings dropped $37 million from the third quarter of 2013.

The railroad also reported that revenue for the quarter increased by five percent to $3 billion. The increase was due to merchandise and intermodal markets.

“Supported by the strength of an expanding economy, we delivered six percent volume growth in the quarter, despite another sharp decline in coal,” said Michael J. Ward, who acts as chairman, president and chief executive officer for the company.

Annual net earnings for 2013 came in at $1.83 per share, up from 2012’s $1.79 per share. Revenue increased for the year by two percent to $12 billion, a record for the company. Operating income came in at $3.5 billion and the operating ratio increased to 71.1 percent for the year.

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.

 

ns_LogoNorfolk Southern published its fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2013 January 22. The railroad reports a fourth quarter net income of $513 million or $1.64 per diluted share. Net income was 24 percent higher than recorded earnings for the same quarter 2012. Fourth quarter earnings were also up $31 million over third quarter earnings for the same year.

NS reported that the operating ratio improved five percent to 69.4 percent for the quarter. Operating revenues for the railroad totaled $2.9 billion, up seven percent from the same quarter last year. Income from railway operations was up 23 percent at $881 million.

For the year 2013, operating revenues for the railway reached $11.2 billion, up two percent over 2012. Income from railway operations came in at $3.3 billion for the year, four percent higher than last year. Net income rose nine percent higher than the previous year at $1.9 billion. Diluted earnings per share also saw an improvement of 12 percent at $6.04. Overall, the railway’s operating ratio improved by one percent to 71.0 percent for the year.

“Norfolk Southern’s team of safety and service-oriented employees drove our record-setting fourth quarter results through increased productivity, efficient network operations, and continued revenue gains,” Wick Moorman, NS CEO, said. “In 2014, we plan to invest $2.2 billion, a 12 percent increase over 2013, to maintain safe railway operations, purchase locomotives and freight cars, and support growth and productivity initiatives.

 

union_pacific_logoUnion Pacific announced their full-year earnings for 2013 as well as their fourth quarter earnings. The company stated that the fourth quarter of 2013 was their best quarter yet with records set.

The railroad reported a net income of $1.2 billion or $2.55 per diluted share for the fourth quarter, a 16 percent increase over last year. Last year’s results for the same quarter were only $1 billion or $2.19 per diluted share.

Operating revenue saw an increase of seven percent to more than $5.6 billion. The same quarter last year only saw an operating revenue of $5.25 billion. Operating income was up 14 percent, totaling $1.97 billion. UP’s operating ratio was a fourth quarter record at 65.0 percent.

“For the first time in six quarters, we reported overall volume growth, despite significantly weaker coal shipments,” said CEO Jack Koraleski. “The fourth quarter wrapped up another tremendous year for Union Pacific, with our overall financial performances exceeding all previous milestones.”

For 2013, UP reported a net income of $4.4 billion or $9.42 diluted share, up from 2012’s reported net income of $3.9 billion or $8.27 per diluted share. Operating revenue saw a record $21.96 billion for the railroad in 2013. Operating income also saw an increase of 10 percent, coming in at more than $7.4 billion. The 2013 operating ratio for the railroad was also a new record, coming in at 66.1 percent.

“As we look at 2014, we see signs that the economy is slowly strengthening. We’re well-positioned for economic growth and are confident in our ability to deliver on our customer’s growing transportation needs,” Koraleski said. “We’ll continue our unrelenting focus on both safety and service to our customers. We strongly believe in the power and potential of the Union Pacific franchise to drive even greater financial performance and shareholder returns in the years to come.”

 

KCS_rail_logoKansas City Southern Lines reports record fourth quarter revenues and record full-year 2013 revenues. The railroad saw an eight percent increase in revenue to $616 million over the fourth quarter of 2012.

Net income totaled $114 million or $1.03 diluted earnings per share for the quarter, a 12 percent increase over the same quarter last year. They also saw a two percent increase in carloads for the fourth quarter.

KCS’s operating income also saw an increase to $196 million for the quarter, a full 13 percent higher than 2012. Operating ratio came in at 68.1 percent for the railroad. Operating expenses also increased by six percent to $420 million for the quarter.

Full year 2013 revenue came in at a record $2.4 billion, up six percent over 2012. Carloads for the year increased two percent to 2.2 million. Operating income for the year is being reported at $739 million, an increase of 10 percent over 2012. The operating ratio for KCS was 68.8 percent for the year, a 1.1 point improvement over 2012.

“The year 2013 proved to be another very good year for Kansas City Southern,” said President and CEO David L. Starling. “2013 marks the fourth consecutive year KCS has recorded a double-digit percentage increase in its adjusted earnings per share. We expect to maintain our excellent growth momentum in 2014 and beyond.”

 

cp-logo-240Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada’s second-largest railroad, said fourth-quarter profit more than quintupled. Net income surged to C$82 million ($74 million), or 47 cents a share, from C$15 million, or 8 cents, a year earlier, and earnings per share for 2014 will rise 30 percent or more from last year, CP said. 

Since taking over in June 2012, Harrison has cut jobs and shut rail yards to bolster profit and close the operations gap with larger rival Canadian National Railway, his former employer. CP reported record operating ratio, a costs-to-revenue measure of efficiency, for the last quarter and said it expects more improvement this year. The railroad’s operating ratio improved to a record 65.9 percent in the quarter from 74.8 percent a year earlier, and the company said it’s targeting 65 percent or lower this year. 

“This was a solid quarter, with decent operating numbers,” Jason Seidl, a Cowen & Co. analyst in New York who rates the shares market perform, said in a telephone interview. “The guidance is for a minimum of 30 percent growth. This year they did much better than their original guidance, so if they do that again this year, they will be well above the consensus.” 

Canadian Pacific stock shares jumped 4.3 percent to C$165 at the close in Toronto, the biggest single-day increase since Oct. 23. The stock has gained 2.7 percent this year.

The 69-year-old Harrison, who came out of retirement to become Canadian Pacific’s CEO, insisted he still plans to lead the company for another two years before handing the reins to Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel. 

 

CN_red_logoCanadian National Railway Co. Jan. 30 said its fourth-quarter earnings increased to C$635 ($568 million), or 76 Canadian cents a share, up from C$610 million, or 71 Canadian cents, a year earlier, helped by higher petroleum product volumes and a stronger U.S. dollar. The company also boosted its quarterly cash dividend by 16 percent and reaffirmed its guidance for 2014.

The railroad, based in Montreal, was helped by strong energy markets. Revenue from the transport of petroleum and chemicals jumped 22% in the fourth quarter, while revenues from metals and minerals and forestry products also made double-digit gains. 

Revenue increased 8 percent to C$2.745 billion and operating expenses rose 5 percent to C$967 million. The company’s operating ratio rose to 64.8 percent from 63.6 percent. The operating ratio is the percentage of operating revenue consumed by operating costs, so an increase indicates a decline. 

“Key operating and service metrics remained solid, and we continued to drive incremental improvement in our broad safety record,” Chief Executive Claude Mongeau said in a statement. 

“CN sees good opportunities in 2014 in a number of markets, including intermodal, oil-and-gas-related commodities, Canadian and U.S. grain, and commodities related to the recovery in the U.S. housing market,” Mr. Mongeau said.