Carrier quarterly income statements

Burlington Northern Santa Fe

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation reported first-quarter 2002 earnings of $0.45 per diluted share, compared with first-quarter 2001 earnings after extraordinary charge of $0.34 per diluted share.

Freight revenues for the 2002 first quarter were $2.14 billion, down 6 percent compared with the same 2001 period. Coal revenues declined $18 million, or 3 percent, to $508 million, primarily reflecting decreased demand and lower burn rates as a result of a mild winter.

Operating expenses of $1.8 billion were $79 million or 4 percent lower than the same period in 2001. The decrease in first-quarter operating expenses primarily reflects reductions in fuel, compensation and benefits, and equipment rents. Operating income was $368 million for the 2002 first quarter compared with $419 million a year ago. The operating ratio increased to 82.8 percent for the 2002 first quarter compared with 81.5 percent in the same 2001 period.

During the 2002 first quarter, BNSF repurchased 2.8 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $28.62 per share. This brings total repurchases to 105.9 million shares as of March 31, 2002.

Canadian National Railway

Canadian National Railway Co. reported a 14% increase in first-quarter profit, excluding a one-time gain from early 2001, primarily because of last year's acquisition of Wisconsin Central Transport Corp.

CN's profit for the three months ended March 31 was $230 million (all figures Canadian) or $1.19 a share, compared with a profit of $275 million or $1.44 a year earlier. But last year's profit included a one-time gain from the sale of CN's 50% interest in the Detroit River Tunnel Company, which resulted in an after-tax gain of $73 million.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.5 billion, up 8 per cent from $1.4 billion a year earlier. CN noted that if last year's results had included the Wisconsin Central acquisition, CN would have posted a first-quarter profit last year of $282 million or $1.47 a share, on revenue of $1.536 billion.

The railway's operating ratio - the key measure of efficiency in the industry - edged up to 73.1 per cent from 72.5 per cent. The lower the operating ratio, the better.

Revenue from petroleum and chemicals was up 9%. Revenue was up 7% in automotive; 5% for forest products and 4% for coal.

Canadian Pacific Railway

Despite a 5% drop in revenue, Canadian Pacific Railway posted improved first-quarter results, thanks to a one-time tax benefit and cost-cutting measures. CPR posted a first-quarter profit of $136.4 million (all figures Canadian) or 86 cents a share for the three months ended March 31, compared with $34.8 million or 22 cents a year earlier. Revenue dropped to $875.4 million, compared with $918.3 million.

The bottom-line improvements were largely because of a one-time $72 million income tax benefit.

Excluding non-recurring items, first-quarter profit was $68 million or 43 cents a share, compared with $62 million or 39 cents a year earlier. CPR's expenses fell $67 million because of lower fuel prices and by cuts to labor costs and expenses on materials and services.

CPR's operating ratio fell to 79.9 per cent from 83.4 per cent. The lower the operating ratio, the better.

CPR said it is sticking to its goal of bringing its operating ratio down to 73 per cent in 2004. The company said price increases will get the railway closer to that goal. Economic growth will also help. CPR said that if anticipated growth does not occur, it will have to cut costs more aggressively to reach its target.

CSX Transportation

CSX Corp.'s profit surged 25% in the first quarter, as the railroad coped with economic weakness by cutting costs and increasing margins. The company said net income rose to $25 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 29 . It earned $20 million, or a dime a share, a year earlier.

The latest results included a charge of $43 million, or 20 cents a share, to reflect a required change in the way the company accounts for goodwill. Excluding the charge, CSX said it earned 32 cents a share, slightly more than analysts anticipated.

Revenue fell 3% to $1.96 billion from $2.03 billion in the first quarter of 2001. The company blamed the decline on a drop in merchandise shipments, and said a mild winter hurt demand for coal shipments.

But CSX said it was able to boost profit by keeping costs down.

Operating expense declined 4.6% to $1.75 billion. Price increases in some markets and lower fuel expenses also helped.

Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern Industries (KCS) released first-quarter earnings information on April 26, reporting that its net income nearly doubled, rising to $11.7 million, or 19 cents a diluted share, up from $5.9 million, or 10 cents a year ago. Revenue at Kansas City Southern dipped to $142.5 million from $144 million a year ago.

This quarter-to-quarter increase resulted primarily from a $8.8 million decline in operating expenses, a $3.9 decrease in interest expense, a $3.4 million increase in other income and a $4.4 million gain realized on the sale of Mexrail, Inc. ("Mexrail'' - a former 49%-owned unconsolidated affiliate) to KCSI's affiliate in Mexico, TFM, S.A. de C.V. ("TFM'').

KCS reported a lower operating ratio for the first-quarter, improving to 87.2% from 94.0% for the same period in 2001.

Lower costs and expenses at KCS resulted mostly from declines in costs for salaries and wages, fuel, car hire and casualties.

Domestic operating income of $13.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2002, was more than double the $6.1 million reported for the first quarter of 2001 as lower operating expenses of $8.8 million offset a $1.5 million decline in revenue quarter to quarter.

Norfolk Southern Corp.

Norfolk Southern Corp. posted higher profits in the first quarter despite a slight decline in revenue from the same period last year.

NS earned $86 million, or 22 cents a share, in the first quarter. In 2001, the company earned $74 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same quarter.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $1.5 billion, down 3 percent from $1.54 billion for the same period last year.

The company said the decline in sales was a result of lower coal revenues caused by unusually warm weather, lower trucking-related revenues partly caused by elimination of a surcharge on diesel fuel, and general economic weakness that lowered shipments of paper and forest products, construction materials, metals and chemicals.

Helping the company boost its profitability despite the lower revenue were a 6 percent reduction in railroad expenses and a 31 percent decline in diesel fuel expenses.

David R. Goode, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company was pleased by the improved profitability "achieved during a period marked by continuing economic slowness and weak coal demand..."

Union Pacific Corp.

Union Pacific Corp. said its first-quarter profits rose 23 percent on cost-cutting and less expensive fuel.

It reported that quarterly net income climbed to $222 million, or 86 cents a share, from $181 million, or 72 cents.

Wall Street had expected Union Pacific to earn between 80 cents and 85 cents a share, with a consensus forecast of 83 cents.

Union Pacific shares were up about 9 percent over the last six months while the Dow Jones U.S. Total Market Index has risen about three percent.

Operating revenues rose to $2.97 billion from $2.94 billion.

Excluding Overnite Transportation, UP's trucking subsidiary, Union Pacific had first-quarter operating income of $489 million, up 14 percent from $430 million for the same period in 2001.

Overnite turned in first-quarter 2002 operating income of $10.5 million, little changed from 2001 on a pro forma basis. Pro forma results for 2001 include $1.9 million of operating income from Motor Cargo, which was acquired last November.

The railroad also highlighted the following information in its April 25 earnings statement: Operating ratio improved 2.2 percentage points to a first-quarter record of 81.6 percent; employee productivity (gross ton-miles/employee) increased 7% to a first quarter record level; and fuel and utilities costs fell 33 percent on declining prices.


© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers