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Rail News: Financials

GWI reports Q1 results, announces NS line lease in Alabama


Despite a 20 percent drop in coal revenue, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) boosted first-quarter revenue 8.1 percent to $207.4 million compared with first-quarter 2011.

In addition, same-railroad revenue rose 4.1 percent to $138.2 million, non-freight revenue increased 5.7 percent to 62.5 million, operating income climbed 16 percent to $41.3 million and the North American/European operating ratio improved 1.3 points to 78.3. But carloads dipped 9.2 percent to 222,178, operating expenses climbed 9 percent to $166.1 million and diluted earnings per share were flat at 52 cents.

“Our net income was unchanged for three main reasons: the expiration of the U.S. short-line tax credit; weak coal shipments in the United States; and a 60-day outage on a portion of our mainline in Australia due to the washout of our Edith River Bridge,” said GWI President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann in a prepared statement. “As we look ahead to the remainder of 2012, we expect improving business trends. Although our U.S. coal traffic is weak, primarily due to warm winter weather and low natural gas prices, we expect some improvement in the second quarter as shipments resume at two power plants.”

Meanwhile, GWI also announced yesterday that the Columbus & Chattahoochee Railroad Inc. (CCR), a newly formed subsidiary, signed an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway to lease and operate a 26-mile segment from Girard to Mahrt, Ala.

CCR will interchange with NS in Columbus, Ga., where GWI’s Georgia Southwestern Railroad also maintains operations. CCR expects to commence operations on the leased line in July 2012 with 17 employees and six locomotives. The railroad will be operated as part of GWI’s Southern Region under the leadership of Senior Vice President Gerald Gates.

The short line anticipates handling about 17,000 carloads annually, primarily coated paperboard-related traffic and other general merchandise.

GWI owns 65 regionals and short lines in the United States, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and Belgium, and operates the Tarcoola-to-Darwin line in Australia.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/1/2012