Thursday, October 22, 2009

BNSF 3Q earnings and revenue decline

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BNSF Corp. Thursday reported third-quarter operating income of $901 million, down roughly 26% from $1.21 billion in the comparable quarter of 2008. Third-quarter revenue of $3.49 billion was down a similar 27% from the $4.77 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Quarterly earnings were $1.42 perdiluted share, which included a $0.06 per share impact related to a favorable coal rate case adjustment; that was still down from third-quarter earnings of $1.99 per diluted share in 2008.

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The company was able to lower its operating expenses during the quarter to $2.6 billion, down about $550 million, due in part to lower fuel prices, cost control measures, and decreased unit volumes.

“During the recession, BNSF has demonstrated significant operating leverage through ongoing dedication to controlling costs and productivity improvements,” said BNSF Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Matthew K. Rose in a statement. “The combination of our significant operating leverage and long-term market opportunities places BNSF in a strong position when the economy recovers.”

BNSF’s operating ratio for the quarter was 74.2%, compared with 74.7% in the comparable year-ago quarter.