KCS’s operating ratio for the quarter was 71.6%, compared with 71.8% in the fourth quarter of 1010.
Fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share of 87 cents was up from 50 cents per share in the fourth-quarter of 2010. Excluding debt retirement costs, adjusted diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $1.01, compared with 62 cents in the fourth quarter of 2010.
KCS said the revenue growth was “led by a 30% increase in Automotive and a 29% increase in Intermodal revenues. Coal was also strong with revenues growing by 20% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Industrial and Consumer Products were up 8% over 2010. Agriculture and Minerals revenue grew 2%.”
For the full year 2011, revenue was a record $2.1 billion, up 16% over 2010, KCS said, noting it was the first time KCS generated annual revenue above $2 billion. Full-year operating income was $612 million, a 26% increase over the prior year, and the company’s 2011 operating ratio was 70.9% compared with 73.2% in 2010. Diluted earnings per share for full year 2011 were $3.00 compared to $1.67 for 2010.
“KCS’s solid fourth quarter put the final touches on a successful 2011,” stated David L. Starling, president and chief executive officer (and Railway Age’s 2012 Railroader of the Year). “The Company can point to notable achievements in all areas, including marketing and sales, finance and operations. For the first time in our railroad’s 125 years, we attained over $2 billion in revenue and 2 million in carloads.
Starling noted that “with the help of continually improving system-wide operating efficiency, KCS again improved its annual operating ratio. Our progress was recognized both in the credit and equity markets with upgrades to our credit ratings and a 42% increase in our stock price for the year.
“KCS continues to have abundant growth prospects and is very well-positioned to be a leading growth company in the transportation industry. We believe that in 2012, KCS will continue on a growth trend similar to that of the past year with mid-single digit increases in volumes and pricing. We are also committed to further improvements in our operating ratio for 2012.”