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Rail News: Kansas City Southern
Decline in carload volume impacts KCS' profit in 2Q
Kansas City Southern reported second-quarter 2015 revenue fell 10 percent to $586 million compared with second-quarter 2014 results, as overall carloads at 537,200 units were 6 percent lower than a year ago, the company announced this morning.
The Class I's net income for the quarter totaled $112 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, compared with $130 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, a year ago. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations and lease termination costs, adjusted diluted earnings per share for second quarter were $1.03 compared with $1.21 in 2014.
The company posted $187 million in operating income for the quarter compared with $214 million in the year ago period, when excluding lease termination costs in 2014. KCS reported an adjusted operating ratio of 68.1, a 1.1 percent increase compared with second-quarter 2014.
Revenue in the quarter declined in all commodity groups except chemicals and petroleum, which grew 1 percent to $116 million. A 46 percent drop in energy revenue to $44.2 million was driven in part by lower utility coal volumes, which were affected by lower natural gas prices. Also affecting energy prices was the decrease in frac sand volumes as a result of the decline in U.S. oil drilling operations.
Operating expenses of $399 million for the quarter were 8 percent lower year over year, when excluding lease termination costs in 2014. Excluding the estimated impact of lower U.S. fuel prices and peso depreciation, operating expenses fell 1 percent, company officials said.
"KCS continued to scale its operations in both the U.S. and Mexico and has made strides in improving its network fluidity," said KCS Chief Executive Officer David Starling in a press release. “Our actions contributed to the company attaining a solid second quarter operating ratio despite volume challenges, particularly in its energy commodity group.”
System performance and operating metrics are expected to improve throughout the year, he said.
"As evidenced in the weekly industry carload data, there are still uncertainties in many of the primary markets served by rail,” Starling said. “However, KCS’ average daily volumes increased each month throughout the second quarter and the initial results from the first few weeks of July suggest the positive trend may be continuing."
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.