NS revenue rose 9% to $3.0 billion. Its operasting ratio was 66.5%, which the company deemed "a 5% improvement."
Those numbers beat Wall Street consensus analyst estimates of $3.03 billion in revenue, and earnings per share of $1.72.
"Norfolk Southern delivered excellent financial performance during the second quarter, reporting the highest railway operating revenues in its history," said CEO Wick Moorman. "We see continued strength across most of our business segments and are optimistic that overall economic conditions will drive growth. Our focus remains unchanged. We are committed to running the safest railroad, providing superior service, increasing efficiency, and driving superior returns to our shareholders."
Second-quarter railway operating revenue was driven by an 8% increase in volume. General merchandise revenues increased 8% to a record $1.7 billion compared with the second quarter of 2013, while shipments of metals and construction, chemicals, and agricultural products also grew. Intermodal rose 11% to a record $650 million, and even coal gained 7% to $672 million, NS said.