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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

Norfolk Southern to aim for 60 operating ratio by 2021

The Class I's financial targets include a full-year OR improvement in 2019 of at least 100 basis points from the 2018 OR of 65.4 percent.
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Norfolk Southern Corp. officials today will provide details of the Class I’s latest strategic plan, which includes targeting an operating ratio (OR) of 60 percent by 2021.

The details — which will be revealed at the railroad’s Investor and Financial Analyst Conference being held today in Atlanta — will cover ways to increase productivity, efficiency and growth.

"As we implement precision scheduled railroading, our initiatives are focused on five key principles: serving our customers, managing our assets, controlling our costs, working safely and developing our people," NS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires said in a press release.

Highlights of the Class I's financial targets include:
• a full-year OR improvement in 2019 of at least 100 basis points from the 2018 OR of 65.4 percent;
• a full-year OR of 60 by 2021;
• capital expenditures totaling between 16 percent and 18 percent of annual revenue through 2021 to promote safety, efficiency and growth; and
• a dividend payout ratio of 33 percent and continuance of share repurchases using free cash flow and borrowing capacity.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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