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Rail News: Financials

Service initiatives help drive NS' third-quarter, year-to-date financial gains


On Oct. 29, Norfolk Southern Corp. reported third-quarter financial results that reflect momentum gained from several ongoing operational and service initiatives, such as NS21, Thoroughbred Operating Plan, Activity Value Analysis and Local Operating Plan Adherence.

The railroad's quarterly net income of $137 million rose 8.8 percent compared with $126 million in third-quarter 2002. Flat operating revenue of $1.6 billion included best-ever quarterly intermodal revenue of $315 million, and NS' quarterly operating expenses remained unchanged at $1.29 billion compared with the same 2002 period.

"Despite a challenging environment, we managed to improve our net income and earnings per share and at the same time post the best operating performance metrics in our history, positioning ourselves for the future by improving service consistency, asset utilization and efficiency," said David
R. Goode, NS chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.

The Class I's quarterly operating ratio of 80.5 matched third-quarter 2002's ratio.

"Our operating ratio was up compared with other quarters, but it still starts with an 'eight,' so we have more work to do," said Goode at the railroad's analyst meeting Oct. 29 in New York City.

During the year's first nine months, NS earned $483 million in net income compared with $331 million during the same 2002 period. Operating revenue of $4.79 billion rose 2 percent two percent, including 3 percent increases in intermodal and coal, and a 1 percent rise in general merchandise revenue. However, the railroad's nine-month operating ratio of 82.5 worsened 1.1 points compared with the same 2002 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2003