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Genesee & Wyoming drove up income, drove down operating ratio


Today, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) reported fourth-quarter net income of $19.9 million and earnings per share of 47 cents compared with $18.3 million and 44 cents, respectively, in fourth-quarter 2009.

Total operating revenue climbed 21.3 percent to $169.7 million, same railroad revenue rose 16.2 percent to $95.4 million and traffic jumped 19.4 percent to 224,970 carloads. However, income from operations fell 12.9 percent to $23.9 million, operating expenses rose 30 percent to $145.8 million and GWI’s operating ratio rose 5.5 points to 85.9. Excluding expenses associated with the FreightLink acquisition in Australia, a legal settlement gain and proceeds from the sale of assets, the adjusted operating ratio improved 2.7 points to 78.2, according to the short-line holding company.

“Fourth-quarter results were strong as our carload shipments remained consistent with the preceding six months and we reported a company record fourth-quarter adjusted operating ratio … despite severe winter weather,” said GWI President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann in a prepared statement.

For the full year, the company reported operating revenue of  $630.2 million and net income of $81.3 million compared with $545 million and $61.3 million, respectively, in 2009. Operating expenses increased from $445.5 million to $500 million year over year, but GWI’s operating ratio improved from 81.8 to 79.3.

“We expect further improvements to our operating ratio and see two important drivers of our revenue,” said Hellmann. “First, we are experiencing stronger freight shipments in both North America and Europe. Second, we expect our Australian business to benefit from additional shipments of iron ore and grain, as well as the full year contribution of the FreightLink acquisition.”

To improve operational efficiency between Adelaide and Darwin, Australia, the company recently signed an agreement to acquire seven high-horsepower locomotives, he said. Delivery is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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