Thursday, September 20, 2012

NS shares dip on earnings warning

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Norfolk Southern announced late Wednesday that third-quarter 2012 earnings are expected to be in the range of $1.18 to $1.25 per diluted share, "primarily due to volume declines in certain markets and lower revenues from fuel surcharges."

Wall Street reacted strongly. Norfolk Southern shares were down 8.9% at noon Thursday as its shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. At 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, shares were down 9.7%. Just after 3:00 p.m. ET, shares had rebounded somewhat, down 8.8%. At the end of the trading day, shares of NSC were down 9.09%.

"Decreased coal and merchandise shipments, offset in part by growth in intermodal volumes, are together expected to reduce revenues by approximately $120 million compared with third quarter 2011," said NS.

Fuel surcharge revenue is expected to be $80 million below the same period last year. Third-quarter 2011 fuel surcharge revenue included a favorable lag effect of $52 million, whereas results for the current quarter are expected to be impacted by an unfavorable lag effect in the range of $25 million to $30 million.

Norfolk Southern was scheduled to discuss its expected third-quarter performance Thursday during the Citi Global Industrials Conference in Boston.