Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Coal better in BNSF Q1

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Coal shipments and revenue helped lead BNSF earnings higher in the first quarter from a year ago.

Coal carloads increased to 475,000 in the quarter ended March 31, up from 401,000 carloads in the same quarter of 2016.

The Omaha-based company in a 10-K filing said gains came on mild winter weather in the year-ago quarter, and better consumption by utilities in the face of higher prices for natural gas in the 2017 period. Gains were partly offset by the effects of shutdowns of coal power plants.

Overall shipments totaled 2,480,000 carloads, an increase from 2,330,000 a year ago.

Railway revenue was $5.05 billion, up from $4.64 billion in the first quarter of 2016. That included fuel costs of $605 million, up substantially from $ $395 million. Fuel surcharges totaled $193 million, up from $124 million.

Average revenue per car increased 3% on higher fuel surcharges and increased rates per car/unit as well as “business mix changes.”

“Consumer Products volumes increased due to higher domestic intermodal, international intermodal, and automotive volumes,” the company stated. “The increases were primarily due to higher market share, improving economic conditions, and normalizing of retail inventories.

“Industrial Products volumes were up slightly. Increases in minerals and other commodities that support domestic drilling activity were mostly offset by lower petroleum products volume due to pipeline displacement of U.S. crude traffic and lower plastics volume. Agricultural Products unit volumes increased primarily due to higher grain exports, partially offset by lower domestic grain.”

Net income was $1.027 billion, from $963 million on-year.


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