NS: A multiple-record first quarter

Written by Andrew Corselli, Managing Editor
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Norfolk Southern (NS) continued its upward trend and posted record railway operating revenues, operating income, operating ratio, net income and earnings per share in first-quarter 2019.

In what lately appears to be par for the course for NS, first-quarter net income was $677 million—up 23% from a year prior—a result of a 16% increase in income from railway operations and an increase in other income. Diluted earnings per share were $2.51, up 30% year-over-year and a first-quarter record.

Other Q12019 NS results include: record railway operating revenues of $2.8 billion, a 5% year-over-year increase, due to an increase in revenue per unit, resulting from increased rates and higher fuel surcharge revenue; railway operating expenses of $1.9 billion, a decrease of $8 million from the year prior, as fuel price declines and lower compensation and benefits expenses were offset by increased purchased services and rents; railway operations income of $966 million, a 16% year-over-year increase and a first-quarter record; and a railway operating ratio of 66%, also a first-quarter best.

“Our first-quarter results reflect the initial steps in the implementation of our new strategic plan that are transforming our company,” said James A. Squires, Chairman, President, CEO, NS. “We set company records for many financial measures in the first quarter, while improving our service product for our customers. We are intensely focused on the execution of the initiatives in our strategic plan that will drive shareholder value.”

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