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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

G&W reports Q1 income, revenue growth


Although Genesee & Wyoming Inc. posted a 32 percent jump in adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) in first-quarter 2018, the company's North American results were hurt in part by congestion at several connecting Class Is that limited car supply.

G&W reported Q1 2018 revenue increased 10.7 percent to $574.7 million from $519.1 million a year ago. Operating income rose 14.5 percent to $86.9 million, while adjusted operating income climbed 2.7 percent to $87.4 million compared to first-quarter 2017, company officials said today in a press release.

Diluted earnings per common share rose to $1.19 versus 42 cents a year ago; adjusted diluted EPS jumped 32 percent to 70 cents a share. The operating ratio for North American operations fell 1.3 points year over year to 77.5.

Reported net income and diluted EPS included a $31.6 million, or 50 cents per share, income tax benefit as a result of the U.S. Short Line Tax Credit for fiscal-year 2017 that was enacted in February.

In addition to G&W's North American results "adversely impacted" by the connecting Class Is that limited car supply, they also were affected by lower utility coal shipments in the Midwest, said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann.

Meanwhile, G&W's results in Australia, the United Kingdom/Europe were "consistent with our expectations," he said.

"Our North American business strengthened in March and we see a favorable outlook for rates and volume for the remainder of 2018, despite ongoing pockets of rail system congestion," Hellmann said. "In Australia, we continue to see an uplift in our business in the second half of 2018 as we take delivery of new rail cars for spot coal movements in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales."

In the United Kingdom, G&W is accelerating a plan to "further rationalize rail equipment, to streamline management and to implement technology investments to enhance productivity." Over the coming months, G&W will incur about $55 million in restructuring and related costs, with the initial benefits recognized in the second half of the year.

Also in the first quarter, the company repurchased 800,000 shares of G&W stock.

"At the same time, we are actively evaluating acquisition and investment opportunities in all geographies in which we operate," said Hellmann. "We expect to continue to pursue both traditional M&A opportunities as well as opportunistic share repurchases in 2018."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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