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Rail News: BNSF Railway

Financials: BNSF reports record quarterly freight revenue, earnings


Today, Burlington Northern Santa Fe reported record second-quarter freight revenue of $2.64 billion and earnings per share of 67 cents, which rose 17 percent and 24 percent, respectively, compared with second-quarter

Quarterly operating and net income increased 23 percent and 25 percent, respectively, to $508 million and $249 million. Also, BNSF's quarterly operating ratio decreased 1.1 points to 80.7 compared with the same 2003 period.

However, higher fuel prices and $30 million in environmental expenses at two former fueling facilities helped increase quarterly operating expenses 16 percent to $2.2 billion.

"Record all-time volumes coupled with a 2 percent average price increase
contributed to our third consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth," said BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose in a prepared statement. "As we move toward fall peak season, our equipment availability and crew capacity should enable us to maintain network fluidity and handle forecasted volume growth."

During the year's first half, BNSF increased freight and total revenue 14 percent to $5.08 billion and $5.17 billion, respectively, compared with similar 2003 data. The railroad's operating and net income rose 21 percent and 14 percent to $918 million and $442 million, respectively, and operating ratio improved 1.1 points to 81.9.

However, the Class I's first-half operating expenses of $4.2 billion increased 13 percent compared with last year, primarily because of fuel costs.