BNSF SEES STEADY RESULTS IN FIRST QUARTER
Burlington Northern Santa Fe said first-quarter net income rose 3 percent, to $243 million, despite a 30-percent jump in fuel prices.
Operating income rose 6 percent to $510 million. Operating expenses increased $25 million or only 1 percent to $1.73 billion, despite a $46-million increase in fuel costs. BNSF offset the higher diesel fuel costs by lower equipment rents, materials and other expenses.
BNSF's operating ratio improved to 77.2 percent, compared to 78.0 percent for the year-earlier quarter.
'We continued to focus on customer service, as our system on-line performance reached a record 93.7 percent, compared with 88.7 percent for the first quarter of 1999 and 91.0 percent for the full year 1999,' said Robert D. Krebs, BNSF chairman and chief executive officer.
First-quarter revenue rose $55 million to $2.24 billion. Intermodal revenues rose $46 million or 8 percent, to $618 million, due to increases in international, truckload and domestic marketing sectors. Carload revenues rose 4 percent to $645 million. Automotive revenue rose 15 percent to $124 million. Agricultural commodity revenues rose 4 percent to $322, mainly due to stronger international and domestic demand for soybean and wheat. Coal revenues fell 6 percent to $529 million.
BNSF has appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals a Surface Transportation Board decision to place a 15-month moratorium on railroad mergers. BNSF had filed an application with STB for a proposed merger with Canadian National Railway Co. BNSF and CN have filed motions with the Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking a stay on the moratorium and an expedited judicial review of the board's decision.