Kansas City Southern Tuesday reported first-quarter revenue of $436.3 million, up a solid 26% from the comparable 2009 quarter. Adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.44 in the first quarter rose from five cents in the first quarter of 2009.
Operating income for the first quarter was more than double last year’s level, up 127% at $108.2 million compared with $47.6 million last year, KCS said.
KCS credited “double-digit revenue improvements” throughout its commodity groupings, with quarterly volume up 15% from the year-ago quarter, and up 2% from the fourth quarter of 2009.
The first-quarter 2010 operating ratio was 75.2% compared with 86.2% a year ago, a figure Chairman and CEO Mike Haverty cited as “a record first-quarter operating ratio” for the company. Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2010 were $328.1 million.
“In the first quarter, KCS reported increased trafficvolumes in five of its six commodity groups and double digit revenue growth in all six groups,” said Haverty in a statement. “Driven by an upswing in manufacturing, KCS reported a 15% volume increase over the firstquarter of last year, as well as a fourth-quarter to first-quarter sequential improvement in volumes of 2%, which is highly unusual as historically first-quarter carloadings lag the fourth quarter on our railroad.”
Haverty also said, “The impact of increased revenues on profitability was enhanced by continued cost controls and tightly managed rail operationsin both the U.S. and Mexico.” He added, “The widespread volume gains KCS achieved in the firstquarter are certainly encouraging signs for the remainder of 2010. In addition, a number of key economic indicators are showing improving strength in the North American economies.”