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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

G&W's Q1 results beat company expectations


Genesee & Wyoming Inc. announced late last week that first-quarter 2016 operating revenue rose 21.6 percent to $482.6 million, but adjusted income from operations fell 8.2 percent to $79.6 million and reported income decreased 21.5 percent to $57 million compared with first-quarter 2015's financial results.

The decline in reported net income primarily was due to $21.1 million in charges related to an Australian iron ore customer that entered voluntary administration, according to a G&W press release.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share were down 7.2 percent to 77 cents; adjusted diluted EPS excluding the short-line tax credit decreased 20.5 percent to 66 cents per share; and reported diluted EPS rose 11.9 percent to 47 cents per share compared with last year's period.

"G&W's core financial results for the first quarter of 2016 were slightly better than our expectations, although our reported results were negatively impacted by our last remaining iron ore customer in Australia entering voluntary administration," said President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann. "Effective management of operating costs in both North America and Australia more than offset weak results from our U.K./Europe operations."

In North America, which represents about 80 percent of G&W's operating income, revenue from operations fell 5.6 percent to $299.8 million, while adjusted income from operations remained relatively flat at $70.7 million compared with a year ago.

Reported income from operations rose 22.6 percent to $70.0 million due mostly to $12.6 million of costs related to the company's Freightliner Group Limited acquisition in 2015.

"In North America, where revenue declined 6 percent, our adjusted operating income increased slightly as a result of proactive cost reductions, which offset both a 36 percent decline in our coal revenue (due primarily to cheap natural gas and a warm winter) and a 14 percent decline in our agricultural products revenue (due to low crop prices and a strong U.S. dollar), yielding a 1.8 percentage point improvement in our adjusted operating ratio," said Hellmann.

For the most part, G&W's outlook for the remainder of 2016 remains unchanged for North America and U.K./Europe, while the outlook for Australia is "modestly weaker," according to G&W's press release. Overall, the company expects about a 12 percent decline in adjusted diluted EPS in 2016, and about an 8 percent increase in free cash flow for the year.

Additionally, G&W will continue to evaluate acquisitions and investments throughout its geographic footprint, company officials said.