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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN: 'Solid execution' leads to record revenue, volume

CN posted record volume, revenue and revenue ton-miles for the fourth quarter and full year in 2012, thanks to the Class I's "supply chain collaboration focus and solid execution," CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau said in a prepared statement.

For the fourth quarter, revenue increased 7 percent to $2.5 billion and revenue ton-miles rose 8 percent. Volume increased 3 percent year over year to $1.3 million.

Meanwhile, net income totaled $610 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, compared with net income of $592 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, in fourth-quarter 2011 (all figures are in Canadian dollars). Operating expenses rose 5 percent to $1.6 billion, operating income increased 10 percent to $922 million and the operating ratio improved 1.1 points to 63.6.

The Class I registered revenue gains in a handful of business sectors, including coal revenue, which rose 15 percent; petroleum and chemicals, 13 percent; grain and fertilizers, 11 percent; intermodal, 7 percent; and automotive, 5 percent. Revenue for forest products, and metals and minerals declined 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

For the full year, net income totaled $2.7 billion or $6.12 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.4 billion, or $5.41 per diluted share in 2011. Operating income jumped 12 percent to $3.7 billion and the operating ratio improved 0.6 points to 62.9. All business units registered gains, carloads increased 4 percent to 5 million, and revenue increased 10 percent to $9.9 billion.

"The rise in total revenues was largely attributable to higher freight volumes, due in part to growth in North American and Asian economies, and the company's performance above market conditions in a number of segments, as well as increased volumes in the second quarter as a result of a labor disruption at a key competitor; freight rate increases; the impact of a higher fuel surcharge as a result of year-over-year increases in applicable fuel prices and higher volumes; and the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar on U.S. dollar-denominated revenues," CN officials said in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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