Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NS 4Q and full-year results slip

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Norfolk Southern Corp. Tuesday afternoon reported fourth-quarter 2012 net income of $413 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, compared with $480 million, or $1.42 per diluted share, earned in the fourth quarter of 2011. Per-share earnings, however, did beat Wall Street analyst estimates by 11 cents. Net income for full-year 2012 was $1.7 billion, or $5.37 per diluted share, compared with $1.9 billion, or $5.45 per diluted share, earned in 2011.

NS's fourth-quarter operating revenue of $2.7 billion was down 4% from the comparable quarter in 2011. The company's 2012 revenue of $11 billion slipped 1% below the 2011 total.

The railway operating ratio increased 3% to 73.4% during the fourth quarter, and rose 1% to 71.7% for 2012, compared with the same periods of 2011, the company said.

"While the fourth quarter reflected declines in coal shipments, we also saw steady intermodal volume gains coupled with improved volumes in our chemicals, auto, and housing sectors," said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman.

"We remain focused on controlling costs and improving productivity while continuing to provide high service levels for our customers. In 2013, we plan to invest $2 billion in capital improvements to further our strong safety performance, improve operational efficiency and service, and support future growth," Moorman said.