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CN celebrates 10th anniversary as publicly held company, sets strategy for next five years


Yesterday, Canadian National Railway Co. marked the 10th anniversary of its privatization and initial public share offering (IPO). To mark the occasion, President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

“In the decade since privatization, we have transformed CN, a former Crown corporation, into a leading North American enterprise and the most efficient railway on the continent,” said Harrison in a prepared statement. “This is a remarkable business story.”

Since the IPO, CN’s share price on the NYSE has increased more than 1,000 percent and the railroad’s market capitalization has risen to $20 billion — second largest among the North American Class Is.

“Our implementation of the scheduled railroad in 1998 was another key milestone event in CN's evolution,” said Harrison. “Scheduled railroading — or precision railroading as we now know it — gave us the tools to improve service still further, and to vastly improve the productivity of our assets and our people.”

While celebrating its past, CN also is looking to the future. Today, the Class I will introduce Vision 2010, the railroad’s five-year plan, at an investor conference in New York City. By the end of 2010, CN expects to generate annual revenue of more than $9 billion, create annual cash flow of $1 billion, increase diluted earnings per share more than 10 percent annually and reach an annual operating ratio of 60.

CN senior officers also will outline plans to increase intermodal and merchandise traffic, invest in capacity, improve productivity, and implement a “Smart Yard” project designed to make traditional switching practices more flexible and efficient.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/18/2005