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Kansas City Southern reported revenue fell 1 percent to $603.1 million, but net income rose for first-quarter 2015 compared with a year ago.The Class I reported net income climbed to $101 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, compared with $94 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, in first-quarter 2014.The operating ratio fell to 70.5 compared with 73.7 in the year-ago quarter.Overall, carload volumes were 1 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2014, company officials said in a press release. Revenue areas that saw increases were chemicals and petroleum, up 9 percent; intermodal, up 8 percent; and automotive, up 4 percent despite headwinds in the weaker peso.Energy revenue declined 15 percent in the quarter due to lower utility coal shipments as a result of lower natural gas prices. Also, industrial and consumer revenue fell by 2 percent primarily because of lower metals shipments, and agriculture and minerals revenue declined 7 percent because of a drop in grain shipments.Excluding the impacts of lower U.S. fuel prices and the depreciating peso, revenue growth would have been 4 percent compared with first-quarter 2014, company officials said."Lower-than-expected carloadings in a few commodity groups, particularly utility coal, coupled with a weak peso and the impact of low U.S. fuel prices on fuel surcharge revenues, combined to exert pressure on first quarter consolidated revenues," said Chief Executive Officer David Starling. "We believe our ability to scale operating expenses and capital where necessary, provide KCS with the opportunity to improve earnings as 2015 progresses."
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