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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

CP: Better operating metrics meant better financial results in Q1


Record operating metrics helped drive Canadian Pacific’s strong financial results in the first quarter, the Class I reported today. Total revenue climbed 18 percent to $1.38 billion, operating income skyrocketed 151 percent to $274 million, net income more than tripled to $142 million and diluted earnings per share shot up 310 percent to 82 cents compared with first-quarter 2011 results (all figures are in Canadian dollars).

In addition, volume rose 8 percent to 656,000 units and CP’s operating ratio improved 10.5 points to 80.1. In terms of operating metrics on a year-over-year basis, active cars on line improved 28 percent to 39,800 units, terminal dwell time improved 27 percent to a first-quarter record 17.3 hours, car miles per day improved 51 percent to a first-quarter record 208 and worker productivity improved 5 percent to 4.2 million gross ton miles per expense employee.

"We have improved operating momentum, we are delivering excellent service, and we have a stronger, more resilient rail network,” said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Green in a prepared statement.

A breakdown of freight revenue and volume per segment in the quarter shows automotive revenue climbed 31 percent to $105 million and traffic soared 17 percent to 42,000 units; coal revenue jumped 29 percent to $137 million and traffic ballooned 30 percent to 78,000 units; industrial and consumer products revenue rose 29 percent to $298 million and traffic increased 15 percent to 115,000 units; grain revenue shot up 24 percent to $288 million and traffic increased 10 percent to 110,000 units; forest products revenue rose 11 percent to $50 million while traffic was flat at 18,000 units; and intermodal revenue increased 8 percent to $336 million and traffic ratcheted up 3 percent to 251,000 units. Sulphur and fertilizers revenue declined 2 percent to $126 million and volume dipped 14 percent to 42,000 units.

In terms of costs, first-quarter operating expenses rose 5 percent year over year to $1.1 billion primarily because fuel costs climbed 19 percent to $269 million and compensation/benefits costs increased 7 percent to $391 million.

Looking ahead, CP’s top executives are confident the Class I can continue to improve operating metrics and financial performance, and grow shareholder value, said Green.

“During the first quarter, CP continued to successfully execute on all three pillars of the multi-year plan, driving volume growth, expanding network capacity to safely and efficiently support higher volumes and controlling costs,” he said. “The CP board and management team is confident in the company's plan and its goal of delivering a 70 to 72 operating ratio for 2014, and an operating ratio of between 68.5 to 70.5 for 2016.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/20/2012