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Rail News: BNSF Railway

BNSF posts higher Q3 operating income, lower revenue


BNSF Railway Co. reported third-quarter operating income rose 3 percent to $2.2 billion, while total revenue fell 2 percent to $6 billion compared with the same period a year ago.

Increased rates per car were partially offset by a 3 percent decrease in unit volume caused by flooding on parts of the network, according to a financial statement on BNSF's website. BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Year over year, BNSF's third-quarter results also showed:
• Consumer products volume fell 1 percent primarily due to lower intermodal volumes.
• Industrial products volume decreased 3 percent primarily due to overall softness in the industrial sector, lower sand volume and reduced car loadings. Strength in the energy sector, which drove higher demand for petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas, partially offset the decrease in other volumes.
• Agricultural products volume slumped 6 percent due to export competition from non-U.S. sources and the impact of changes in international trade policies.
• Coal volume dropped 4 percent partly due to the impact of lower natural gas prices.

On the expense side of the ledger, third-quarter operating expenses fell 5 percent to $3.8 billion from $4 billion last year.

The railroad's third-quarter operating ratio was 62.6 percent versus 64.5 percent a year ago.

BNSF also announced that its 2019 capital expenditures plan will cost $3.67 billion, or $100 million higher than previously announced, "with a continued emphasis on maintaining and expanding its network."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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