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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern set revenue, income and operating ratio records in 2Q


The first Class I to report second-quarter financial results had a few records to impart, as well. Today, Kansas City Southern announced that 2Q revenue increased 2 percent to a record $545 million, operating income jumped 34 percent to an all-time-high $204 million and the operating ratio (OR) tumbled 9.1 points to an all-time-low 62.6 compared with second-quarter 2011 results. The adjusted OR declined 1.2 points to 70.5.

“Despite economic uncertainties that might affect the overall business environment, a number of second quarter achievements provide powerful evidence that KCS’ growth story remains very much intact,” said KCS President and Chief Executive Officer David Starling in a prepared statement.

Intermodal revenue soared 23 percent to $76.4 million and volume climbed 17 percent to 228,000 units; automotive revenue increased 15 percent to $39.6 million and volume jumped 18 percent to 24,100 units; and industrial and consumer products revenue rose 10 percent to $137.2 million and volume increased 4 percent to 83,600 units.

Cross-border intermodal volume skyrocketed 106 percent and revenue leaped 94 percent, which is significant because the business segment has some of the longest lengths of haul on the railroad’s network, said Starling.

“It also is an area in which KCS, taking advantage of secular changes in transportation, has the opportunity to experience record growth over an extended period of time,” he said.

On the flip side, energy revenue tumbled 12 percent to $67.9 million and volume fell 11 percent to 66,100 units; chemical and petroleum revenue dipped 7 percent to $98 million and volume decreased 8 percent to 60,900 units; and agriculture and minerals revenue dropped 7 percent to $106 million and volume plunged 10 percent to 57,200 units.

Lower-than-anticipated coal traffic “clearly had an impact” on second-quarter results as utility coal revenue fell 24 percent, said Starling. Total volume increased 4 percent to 519,900 units, but excluding utility coal, volume rose 7 percent.

“We ended the quarter on a strong note by achieving the highest average daily carloads in KCS’ history during the month of June,” said Starling.

Other 2Q results show net income totaled $120 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, compared with $71 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, in second-quarter 2011. Wall Street analysts had expected KCS to earn 83 cents per share on revenue of $567.3 million, according to FactSet Research.

Total operating expenses dropped 11 percent to $341.5 million as fuel costs declined by $5.1 million — primarily because of a more favorable foreign exchange rate — and equipment costs decreased by $3.2 million. Adjusted operating expenses were flat at $384 million.

“KCS continued to effectively scale operational expenses to volume changes,” said Starling. “As a result, despite a significant decline in utility coal shipments, [we] again achieved strong incremental margins in the second quarter.”

KCS also reported the following results for the year’s first half: revenue, up 7 percent to $1.1 billion; net income, up 44 percent to $196.2 million; operating expenses, down 2 percent to $731.2 million; and volume, up 6 percent to more than 1 million units.

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More News from 7/17/2012