Kansas City Southern overcame declines in coal and grain traffic to post record volume and revenue in both the fourth quarter and full year of 2012.
In the fourth quarter, revenue climbed 7 percent to $568 million and carloads rose 2 percent to 532,000 compared with fourth quarter 2011 results. The growth was led by a 33 percent increase in automotive revenue and 14 percent increases in chemical and petroleum, and intermodal revenue. Industrial and consumer products revenue was strong as well, growing 11 percent in the fourth quarter. However, energy, and agriculture and minerals revenue fell by 1 percent and 11 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, operating income totaled $174 million, a 15 percent jump; operating expenses totaled $395 million, up 4 percent; and net income reached $92 million, or 83 cents per diluted share, compared with $96 million, or 87 cents per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2011. KCS' operating ratio improved 2.1 points to 69.5.
For all of 2012, revenue reached an all-time-high $2.2 billion, up 7 percent, and carloads totaled 2.1 million, up 5 percent compared with 2011. Adjusted operating income (excluding one-time benefits from the elimination of a net deferred liability in 2012 and insurance recoveries in 2011) was $673 million, up 15 percent compared with 2011's adjusted operating income. The adjusted operating ratio was 69.9, a 2.2-point improvement.
"This success is due in large part to the balanced and diverse mix of commodities that KCS transports and the ability of employees at every level of the company to react quickly and effectively to opportunities in the transportation marketplace," said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer David Starling in a prepared statement.
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