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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN's Q2 profit jumped 20 percent on volume growth

CN logged "solid" second-quarter 2017 financial results on strong volume growth across most commodity groups, the Class I reported yesterday.

CN's Q2 net income surged 20 percent to CA$1.03 billion, or CA$1.36 diluted earnings per share, compared with CA$858 million, or CA$1.10 diluted EPS, in the same period a year ago, according to a CN press release.

Revenue climbed 17 percent to a quarterly record of CA$3.3 billion, carloadings jumped 14 percent and revenue ton-miles gained 18 percent compared with last year's second-quarter results.

CN executives attributed revenue increases mainly to higher volumes across several sectors, such as Canadian grain and fertilizers, overseas intermodal traffic, frac sand, coal and petroleum coke exports, crude oil, and finished vehicles.

Also contributing to higher revenue were higher fuel surcharge rates, freight rate increases and the positive translation impact of a weaker Canadian dollar, they added.

Year over year, revenue was up 33 percent for metals and minerals, 33 percent for coal, 23 percent for grain and fertilizers, 20 percent for automotive, 17 percent for intermodal, 12 percent for petroleum and chemicals, and 6 percent for forest products.

Operating expenses rose 18 percent to CA$1.8 billion compared with a year ago.

The Class I posted an operating ratio of 55.1 percent for the quarter, an increase of 0.6 points over the prior-year quarter.

"Once again, CN delivered solid quarterly performance with strong volume growth across most commodity groups, building on the momentum started in the fourth quarter of 2016," said President and Chief Executive Officer Luc Jobin. "Our team of railroaders remained focused on balancing operational and service excellence while efficiently adjusting to the growing demand."

CN remains committed to delivering on its 2017 financial outlook although volume comparisons in the year's second half will be more challenging, Jobin said. The strengthening of the Canadian dollar "will constitute a headwind," he added.

CN aims to deliver a 2017 adjusted diluted EPS in the range of CA$4.95 to CA$5.10 compared with last year's adjusted diluted EPS of CA$4.59.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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