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Norfolk Southern Corp. today reported fourth-quarter 2020 net income increased 1% to $671 million, or $2.64 diluted earnings per share, from $666 million, or $2.55 per share, in the same quarter in 2019.
The Class I's fourth-quarter railway operating revenue fell 4% to $2.6 billion, driven by a 1% decline in volume, lower fuel surcharges and differing business mix, NS officials said in a press release.
Railway operating expenses were $1.6 billion, down 8%. Lower fuel costs, compensation and benefits and purchased services were partially offset by lower gains on property sales, company officials said.
Income from railway operations climbed 2% to $1 billion. NS posted an operating ratio of 61.8% for the quarter, an all-time record, compared with 64.2% in the same 2019 period.
"As we take stock of what we achieved in 2020 while managing both the pandemic and energy market challenges, including the successful idling of four additional hump operations while driving productivity to record levels, we see much more opportunity ahead," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Squires. "We have set the stage to drive further efficiency and profitable growth in 2021 through our precision scheduled railroading operating plan, which will deliver long-term value for both our shareholders and customers."
NS also announced plans to spend about $1.6 billion on capital expenditures in 2021.