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4/23/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

First quarter kind to CN, mixed bag to BNSF


Canadian National Railway Co. April 22 reported first-quarter net income of $230 million compared with $202 million for the same 2001 quarter.
CN's quarterly operating income rose five percent to $406 million, while
its operating ratio worsened slightly 0.6 to 73.1.
Meanwhile, the Class Is quarterly revenues increased 8 percent to $1.5 billion; operating expenses, 9 percent to $1.1 billion; and carloads, 5 percent to 999,000.
"CN expects its core merchandise businesses — forest products, petroleum and chemicals, and metals and minerals — will continue to grow as the North American economy improves," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Tellier in a prepared statement. "We will leverage our network, our diverse customer base and our industry-leading scheduled railway services to continue to drive top-line growth in the future."
The quarterly financial news wasn't as good for Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which April 23 reported $2.14 billion in freight revenues, dropping 6 percent compared with first-quarter 2001.
"Earnings were impacted by softness in all major product sectors and the demand for coal was weakened because of mild winter weather," said BNSF Chairman, President and CEO Matthew Rose. "Record on-time performance and a large reduction in personal injuries were highlights of the first quarter of the year as BNSF continues to focus on operating-cost containment and improving customer service."
BNSF also reported first-quarter operating expenses of $1.8 billion, down $79 million (4 percent) compared with last year, primarily because of
reductions in fuel, compensation and benefits, and equipment rents.
The Class I's quarterly operating income was $368 million compared with last year's $419 million, and its quarterly operating ratio worsened to 82.8 compared with 81.5 in first-quarter 2001.


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