Friday, January 22, 2010

BNSF 4Q earnings beat Street as acquisition looms

Written by 

Amidst preparations to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BNSF Thursday announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 earnings and revenue. Quarterly earnings were $536 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, which included a tax benefit of 25 cents per share related to a fourth-quarter donation. 

bnsf_logo.jpg

Those earnings were down 12.8%, or 23 cents per share, from the comparable fourth quarter 2008 earnings of $1.78 per diluted share. But the results still beat analyst estimates of an adjusted profit of $1.22 per share on anticipated revenue of $3.62 billion. Actual fourth-quarter revenue of $3.7 billion was down 15.8% from the comparable quarter in 2008, less severe a decline than the full-year 2009 operating revenue of $14 billion, down $4 billion or about 22% from $18 billion for 2008. 

Full-year 2009 earnings were $5.01 per diluted share, compared to full year 2008 earnings reported at $6.06 per diluted share.

“We have seen some improvement in volumes during the second half of 2009 and expect this gradual improvement to continue,” Burlington Northern Chairman, President, and CEO Matt Rose said in a statement. “BNSF will continue to position itself to meet demand consistent with the pace of the economic recovery. And as we look forward into 2010, we are preparing to become part of the Berkshire Hathaway family, pending shareholder approval in February.”