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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern's carload growth drives record Q2 revenue

A 6 percent increase in carload volumes helped drive Kansas City Southern to a record second-quarter revenue of $656 million, up 15 percent over the same period a year ago, the Class I reported today.

KCS posted an all-time record quarterly operating income of $239 million, an increase of 9 percent from second-quarter 2016, according to a KCS press release. Diluted earnings per share increased 14 percent to $1.27 compared to a year ago.

The company reported an operating ratio of 63.5 percent for the quarter, compared with 61.3 percent in second-quarter 2016.

KCS' earnings on an adjusted basis of $1.33 per share beat the Zacks analyst consensus estimate of $1.26, according to Zacks Equity Research.

The railroad's operating expenses jumped 20 percent to $417 million compared with the year-ago quarter. In Q2 of 2016, KCS determined it would utilize a Mexican fuel excise tax credit, and recognized a year-to-date benefit, including $17 million for the first quarter of 2016.

"We are pleased to report record second quarter revenues and earnings per share, as well as an all-time record quarterly operating income," said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Ottensmeyer. "All three milestones highlight the overall strength of our second quarter 2017 results."

Carload traffic rose in four of the railroad's six commodity groups, according to Ottensmeyer.

"Our revenue performance featured strength in energy, automotive and chemicals and petroleum, as higher commodity prices, Mexican automotive production and the emergence of Mexican energy reform supported growth," he said.

KCS is positioned for continued growth as a result of network investments and the company's ability to improve operational performance in a strong-demand environment, Ottensmeyer added.

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