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Rail News Home Financials

1/21/2005



Rail News: Financials

2005 Outlook: RailAmerica expects 10 percent rise in revenue, 2 percent climb in carloads



RailAmerica Inc. is projecting promising revenue growth this year, in the more-than-5-percent category. Yesterday, the short-line holding company announced its 2005 business outlook, which forecasts annual revenue totaling about $435 million or 10 percent more than 2004 revenue.

Same railroad revenue is projected to rise about 7 percent — including fuel surcharge revenue totaling about $6 million — and same railroad carloads are expected to increase about 2 percent compared with 2004. The Central Michigan Railway, Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad, and Midland Subdivision — which RailAmerica acquired last year — will help drive carload and revenue growth, company officials said in a prepared statement.

RailAmerica also is forecasting annual operating income of about $70 million, capital expenditures of about $58 million and an annual operating ratio of between 84 and 85. The company is projecting a first-quarter operating ratio of between 87 and 88.

RailAmerica has hedged 30 percent of its 2005 fuel usage at an average price of $1.45 per gallon. In addition, fuel surcharges are expected to cover another 30 percent of the company's fuel costs in 2005.


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