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Rail News: Financials

CN bucks stronger Canadian dollar to achieve favorable third-quarter, nine-month financial results

On Oct. 21, Canadian National Railway Co. reported encouraging third-quarter and year-to-date financial results despite a strengthening Canadian dollar vs. the U.S. dollar, which helped reduce total revenue $90 million during the quarter and $191 million during 2003's first nine months. CN converts U.S.-dollar denominated revenue and expenses into Canadian dollars.

During the quarter, the railroad increased net income 10 percent to $294 million and decreased operating expenses 6 percent to $959 million compared with $268 million and $1 billion, respectively, in third-quarter 2002. The Class I also maintained its operating ratio at 67.9, which rose 0.1 point compared with the same 2002 period.

"[The quarter was] powered in large measure by increased intermodal revenues, the recovery in Canadian grain shipments following last year's drought, a solid story on expense control and favorable tax adjustments," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison in a prepared statement. "In the months ahead, the Canadian dollar will remain a challenge, but we anticipate continued strength in Canadian grain shipments and a gradual improvement in North American economic output."

During the year's first nine months, CN increased net income 1.6 percent to $790 million and decreased operating expenses 2 percent to $3.10 billion compared with $778 million and $3.18 billion, respectively, during the same 2002 period. However, operating income dropped 8 percent to $1.3 billion, total revenue declined 4 percent to $4.4 billion and CN's operating ratio worsened 1.3 points to 71.1 compared with last year.

The stronger Canadian dollar helped reduce nine-month operating and net income $75 million and $37 million, respectively.

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More News from 10/21/2003