Adjusted for one-time measures, earnings per share rose to C$1.72 (US$1.67), surpassing Wall Street analyst expectations. CN said its operating ratio for the quarter was 59.8%, an improvement of 0.8 points.
CN's third-quarter revenue rose 8% to a quarterly record of C$2.7 billion, driven by an increase in revenue ton-miles and a 3% increase in carloadings.
Earlier this month CN forecast strong growth in West Canadian crop production, which is expected to spur future agricultural carload traffic, but third-quarter grain revenue fell 3%. Offsetting that were double-digit percentage revenue increases in petroleum and chemicals (17%), intermodal (13%), and in metals and minerals (11%).
Said President and CEO Claude Mongeau, "CN's agenda of Operational and Service Excellence delivered outstanding financial results for the quarter. All our key operating metrics improved, service levels remained solid, and we reached new levels of safety in our train operations. With continued focus on supply chain collaboration and solid execution, the CN team is determined to grow its business safely and efficiently at a pace faster than the overall economy and to meet its full-year 2013 financial outlook."