Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CP terms 4Q earnings “solid”

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Canadian Pacific Tuesday morning announced fourth-quarter diluted per share earnings of C$1.28, exclusive of “significant items,” up 15% from C$1.11 diluted per share earnings, also exclusive of such items, in the fourth quarter of 2011. The railroad called these earnings “solid.”

But including such items, earnings fell to C$15 million (US$14.9 million), or 8 Canadian cents per share, compared with C$221 million, or C$1.30 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose to C$1.50 billion (US$1.49 billion) from C$1.41 billion, beating analyst estimates of C$1.49 billion.

"Canadian Pacific is moving forward on our transformational journey to become the most efficient railroad in North America," said CP President and CEO E. Hunter Harrison. "This quarter, CP saw strong operating performance as we continued to implement significant changes to how we run the railroad."

He added, "Management made a number of hard decisions this quarter including booking several significant items. With these decisions now behind us, we anticipate record-setting financial and operational results starting in 2013."

CP said fourth-quarter earnings were impacted by: a $53 million labor restructuring charge (C$39 million after tax), which unfavorably impacted diluted earnings per share ("EPS") by 22 cents; C$185 million impairment of Powder River Basin and other investment (C$111 million after tax), which unfavorably impacted diluted EPS by 64 cents; and an C$80 million asset impairment of certain locomotives (C$59 million after tax), which unfavorably impacted diluted EPS by 34 Canadian cents.

Also factors: C$6 million in advisory fees related to shareholder matters, which unfavorably impacted diluted EPS by 3 Canadian cents ; and a C$37 million income tax benefit, which favorably impacted diluted EPS in 2011 by 22 cents .

CP said it expects revenue growth to be "in the high single digits" in 2013, and anticipates its operating ratio to be "in the low 70s."

Last week shares of CP reached a 52-week high in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, as investors appeared to express confidence in the railroad's restructuring plans. Shares were up roughly 3.8% in mid-morning trading Tuesday on the NYSE.