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Rail News: Financials

Genesee & Wyoming's full year, quarterly financial figures multiply in Australia, subtract in North America

On Feb. 11, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) reported fourth-quarter net income of $7.9 million, a 36.7 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2002.

Quarterly North American revenue increased 9.5 percent to $61.5 million, but operating income of $8.3 million fell 12 percent and GWI's North American operating ratio of 86.6 worsened 4 points compared with the same 2002 period, which included a higher net gain from asset sales.

Australian Railroad Group (ARG) — which is half-owned by GWI — reported quarterly revenue of $74.6 million, a 45.8 percent increase compared with fourth-quarter 2002. ARG's quarterly operating income of $18.6 million rose 148 percent and operating ratio of 75 improved 10.3 points compared with the same 2002 period, which included a restructuring charge.

"Our fourth-quarter results were in line with expectations, although earnings were stronger than expected in Australia and slightly weaker in North America," said GWI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mortimer Fuller III in a prepared statement. "In Australia, grain trains for the 2003-04 harvest began operating at full capacity in December, and we successfully started up operations for a major new contract in New South Wales, [while] in North America, maintenance at two power plant customers … temporarily affected shipments of coal and petroleum products."

For all of 2003, the short-line holding company reported record net income of $28.7 million, a 12.2 percent increase compared with 2002. Revenue of $245 million and operating income of $36 million rose 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, GWI's board approved a three-for-two split of the company's common stock in the form of a 50 percent dividend, payable March 18 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 27.

"The stock split underscores our favorable long-term view," said Fuller, adding that the three short lines GWI acquired from Georgia-Pacific Corp. in December and a positive Australian outlook bode well for 2004 growth.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/11/2004