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Boomer of 3rd quarter for major railroads

Posted By ted On November 5, 2010 @ 12:00 am In Amtrak/Commuter,Amtrak/Commuter News,News | No Comments

It was a boomer of a third quarter for major railroad profits.

Blockbuster earnings were reported by Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific as railroads exercised market pricing power and enjoyed robust increases in freight shipments.

  • Canadian National reported its third quarter profit rose by 21 percent, and its operating ratio declined from almost 63 percent in the third quarter 2009 to 60.7 percent for the third quarter 2010. Operating ratio is the railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists as a basic measure of carrier profitability. 
  • Canadian Pacific reported that while its third quarter profit declined owing to an extraordinary one-time real-estate sales gain the previous year’s third quarter, its operating ratio improved from more than 76 percent in third quarter 2009 to 73.7 for the third quarter 2010.
  • CSX reported its third quarter profit climbed by 43 percent, and its operating ratio improved from 73.9 in the third quarter 2009 to 69.1 for the third quarter 2010.
  • Kansas City Southern reported its third quarter profit doubled, and its operating ratio improved from 78.3 percent in the third quarter 2009 to 73.5 percent for the third quarter 2010.
  • Norfolk Southern reported its third quarter profit increased by 47 percent, and its operating ratio improved from 72.8 percent in the third quarter 2009 to 69.6 percent for the third quarter 2010.
  • Union Pacific reported its third quarter profit soared by 51 percent — its most profitable quarter ever — and its operating ratio improved from 73.8 percent in the third quarter 2009 to 68.2 percent for the third quarter 2010.

As BNSF is now privately held, it no longer reports detailed quarterly financial data, but the Journal of Commerce, citing a BNSF filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, reported that BNSF’s third quarter profits soared 44.7 percent over the third quarter 2009. An operating ratio was not reported.

Meanwhile, the Railway Supply Institute reported that railroads are significantly increasing orders for new freight cars; while the Association of American Railroads reported that rail freight traffic for 2010 through early November is running 7.3 percent higher than for the same period in 2009.


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