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Railroads 2010: How sweet it was
Posted By ted On January 28, 2011 @ 6:05 pm In Amtrak/Commuter,Amtrak/Commuter News,News | No Comments
How did major railroads perform in 2010?
Reviewing their calendar-year and fourth-quarter profit statements, one wouldn’t know they were operating in the midst of a nationwide recession.
Profits soared, stock dividends were raised and operating ratios improved. (Operating ratio — a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue — is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability.)
Wall Street analyst Ed Wolfe reports the level of freight car and intermodal loadings for the year registered “the best” year-over-year growth in more than 50 years.
Wolfe and other analysts also point to the railroads’ pricing strength — the ability to raise rates on shippers with limited effective alternatives to railroad transportation. Many long-term contracts for hauling coal are expiring, and substantial rate increases on that traffic already are reflected in new contracts.
Indeed, railroad CEOs are predicting another strongly profitable year in 2011, which was reflected in year-end railroad stock prices, which were flirting with record highs.
Following are profit reports from the major railroads:
Kansas City Southern:
As BNSF is now privately held, it no longer reports detailed financial data.
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