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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

NS' first-quarter earnings impacted by Mother Nature

The harsh winter weather has been cited by some railroads as impacting first-quarter earnings. Count Norfolk Southern Corp. among them.

This morning, the Class I reported first-quarter net income of $368 million, an 18 percent drop compared with first-quarter 2013, which had included an income gain from a land sale.

Operating revenue totaled $2.7 billion and diluted earnings per share clocked in a $1.17. Income from railway operations dipped 3 percent year over year to $667 million, while operating expenses declined 1 percent to $2 billion. The operating ratio rose slightly to 75.2, versus first-quarter 2013's 74.8.

By commodity group, chemical revenue jumped 12 percent and intermodal revenue rose 4 percent. Agriculture revenue remained flat, while coal revenue dropped 15 percent; automotive revenue declined 7 percent, paper and first products revenue dipped 3 percent, and metals and construction products revenue dropped 1 percent.

"Following the extreme winter weather across the U.S. rail network, which impacted first-quarter results, we are seeing a rebound in shipments across all of our businesses," said NS Chief Executive Officer Wick Moorman in a prepared statement.

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