BNSF achieves record financial quarter
Buffett’s railroad interest chugs along
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., parent company of BNSF Railway Co., today reported record quarterly revenues, operating income and earnings.
“We were able to produce record earnings and quarterly operating income that exceeded $1 billion for the first time in our company’s history despite continued economic softness in our consumer and industrial products business groups,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
“Although we have concerns near-term about the economy, housing markets, high fuel prices and general consumer softness, we continue to be optimistic about the long-term future of BNSF,” Rose added.
BNSF’s net income in the third quarter increased 8.4 percent to $530 million from $489 million a year ago. Operating income rose 8.7 percent to $1 billion against $921 million. Total revenues improved 3.3 percent to $4.07 billion while freight revenues increased 3.5 percent to $3.95 billion.
Quarterly revenue from coal increased 14 percent to $849 million while agricultural products revenues gained 10 percent to $682 million. Industrial products sales increased 1 percent to $962 million but consumer products revenue was down 3 percent to $1.46 billion.
The quarterly performance will be well received by Warren Buffett whose investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway has been steadily increasing its stake in the nation’s second-largest railroad and now owns 60.8 million shares of BNSF, representing 17.2 percent control.
For the year to date, BNSF reported a net income of $1.31 billion, down 4.2 percent from $1.37 billion after nine months last year. Operating income in the nine-month period declined 1.6 percent to $2.54 billion from $2.58 billion. BNSF’s total revenues for the year so far were up 4.1 percent to $11.56 billion with freight revenue up by 4.2 percent to $11.22 billion.
BNSF Railway Co. operates about 32,000 route miles in 28 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.