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Rail News Home Canadian National Railway - CN


Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN delivers 'strong' Q3 results despite softening economy


CN yesterday delivered strong third-quarter 2019 results despite a softer and uncertain economy for the North American rail industry, the Class I's executives announced yesterday.

CN reported Q3 revenue increased 4 percent to CA$3.8 billion, diluted earnings per share (EPS) rose 8 percent to CA$1.66, operating income climbed 8 percent to CA$1.6 million and net income edged up 0.5 percent to CA$1.2 billion compared with Q3 2018's results, company officials said in a press release.

The Q3 operating ratio improved to 57.9 percent from 59.5 percent a year ago.

"Our team of railroaders swiftly aligned resources with the weaker demand to achieve solid efficiency gains," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer JJ Ruest. "We remain committed to our long-term agenda of growing faster than the economy at low incremental cost, and to taking scheduled railroading to the next level by deploying advanced operating technology.”

CN attributed the revenue increase primarily to freight rate increases and higher intermodal revenue.

Operating expenses for the quarter inched up 1 percent to CA2.2 billion, mainly driven by higher purchased services and material expenses, as well as higher depreciation and amortization expenses.

The slower demand for North American rail service prompted CN to revise its profit outlook for 2019. The company is now targeting adjusted diluted EPS growth in the high single-digit range for 2019 versus last year's adjusted diluted EPS of CA$5.50. In July, CN's financial outlook called for low double-digit growth in adjusted diluted EPS.

CN also now expects a "slightly negative volume growth" this year in revenue ton miles.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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