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Genesee & Wyoming Inc.'s (GWI) first quarter that included consolidated financial results with former RailAmerica Inc. railroads was a good one despite a revenue hit from weak Canadian winter wheat exports and sluggish North American steel shipments, and operating expenses hit from the RailAmerica integration.Today, GWI reported first-quarter net income of $82.7 million compared with $22.2 million in first-quarter 2012. Excluding the impact of certain significant items associated with the integration, adjusted net income totaled $48.9 million versus $25 million in the year-ago period.Diluted earnings nearly tripled to $1.46, total operating revenue soared 80.9 percent to $167.8 million (including $154.4 million from new operations), same-railroad freight revenue climbed 12 percent to $161.9 million, income from operations ballooned 85 percent to $76.2 million, carloads rose 4.5 percent to 450,304 units and GWI's adjusted operating ratio improved 2.3 points to 76.7. Operating expenses increased 80 percent to $299 million largely because of the integration."We moved quickly to integrate the new operations and are pleased to report financial results [that are] in-line with our acquisition plan. We managed our operating costs well," said GWI President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann in a prepared statement. "Normalizing for several items such as the benefit of the U.S. short line tax credit, RailAmerica integration costs, as well as the impact of last year's Edith River Bridge washout in Australia, GWI's adjusted earnings per share increased nearly 40 percent in the first quarter."The company — which recently relocated its headquarters from Greenwich to Darien, Conn. — registered higher lumber and forest products shipments in the United States due to a stronger housing market and posted significant growth in crude-by-rail shipments on both the West and Gulf coasts, he said."With the integration of RailAmerica operations now largely complete, we are focused on new commercial development, further reducing the expenses of the combined company, as well as carefully evaluating several new investment opportunities," said Hellmann.
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