December 20, 2014

Wrap up: Major rails’ 2d quarter 2011 profits

Canadian National:

Canadian National Railway July 25 reported an 8 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2011 versus the second quarter 2010, citing a 10 percent increase in intermodal loadings (trailers and containers on flat cars) and a 14 percent increase in intermodal revenue.

CN’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 62.3 percent showed little change from the 61.2 percent for the second quarter 2010. 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.

CN is primarily a Canadian railroad. Its U.S. holdings include what were formerly Detroit, Toledo & Ironton; Elgin, Joliet & Eastern; Grand Trunk Western; Illinois Central; and Wisconsin Central.

Canadian Pacific:

Canadian Pacific Railway’s second quarter 2011 profit fell by 23 percent versus second quarter 2010, owing to widespread and prolonged flood disruptions, said the carrier.

CP’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 88.8 was four percentage points higher than the operating ratio for the second quarter 2010. 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.

Canadian Pacific is primarily a Canadian railroad. Its U.S. holdings include Class I Soo Line and regional railroad Delaware & Hudson.

CSX:

CSX July 19 reported a 22 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2011 versus the second quarter 2010, much of it the result of higher freight rates as traffic volume slowed.

CSX said the improved profits will allow $2.2 billion in spending to make improvements to its tracks, yards and signals, and purchase additional locomotives and freight cars. The railroad also said it will increase employment by 4 percent in 2011, double its proposed headcount increase announced earlier in the year.

CSX’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio declined to 69.3, versus 7.2 for the second quarter 2010. 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.

CSX operates some 21,000 route miles in 23 states and the District of Columbia

Kansas City Southern:

Kansas City Southern July 21 reported a 19 percent improvement in profits for the second quarter 2011 versus second quarter 2010, driven by improved auto, intermodal and coal traffic as it established records for the number of carloads handled.

Its operating ratio of 71.7 was almost a full percentage point better than its operating ratio in the second quarter 2010. 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.

KCS operates some 3,500 route miles in 10 states in the Central and South-Central U.S., as well as Kansas City Southern de Mexico, a primary Mexican rail line.

Norfolk Southern:

Norfolk Southern July 26 reported a record second-quarter profit – a 42 percent improvement for second quarter 2011 versus second quarter 2010. The railroad cited increased intermodal traffic (trailers and containers on flat cars) and coal loadings as significant contributors to the improved earnings.

The NS second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 69.5 percent was slightly improved from the 69.9 percent for second quarter 2010. 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.

NS operates some 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Union Pacific:

Union Pacific July 21 reported a 10 percent increase in profits for the second quarter 2011 versus second quarter 2010, citing prices increases and an 11 percent increase in chemicals and agricultural carloads. The railroad said it was the best-ever quarterly earnings.

UP’s operating ratio of 71.3, however, was 1.9 percent higher than second quarter 2010. 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.

UP said it plans to hire some 4,500 new workers by the end of 2011 – 3,000 to replace those retiring and 1,500 to new positions.

Union Pacific operates some 32,000 route miles in 23 states in the western two-thirds of the U.S.

 As BNSF is now privately held, it does not report quarterly earnings.