NORFOLK SOUTHERN POSTS RISE IN EARNINGS
Norfolk Southern Corp., the U.S. East Coast railroad, said its second-quarter net income rose 11 percent to $119 million, as growth in intermodal and general merchandise business more than offset a decline in coal volumes.
The earnings were in line with the analyst consensus estimate of Thomson First Call.
Operating revenues for the quarter were $1.6 billion, unchanged from the year-earlier period. The company's operating ratio was 79.8 percent, the best operating ratio since NS integrated part of Conrail into its operation in the second quarter of 1999.
'During the quarter, we also continued to benefit from our scheduled operating plan as Norfolk Southern achieved lower terminal dwell times and faster train speeds,' said David R. Goode, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
For the first six months of 2002, net income was $205 million, up from $181 million for the first half of 2001, which included an after-tax gain of $13 million related to the 1998 sale of Norfolk Southern's former trucking subsidiary.
First half 2002 revenue was $3.1 billion, slightly down from the first half of 2001. The operating ratio improved 2.5 percentage points to 81.9 percent.
Intermodal revenues climbed 7 percent to $295 million and 3 percent in the first six months of 2002, to $565 million, reflecting increased demand for consumer products and traffic growth from the introduction of new services, NS said.
Second-quarter general merchandise revenues of $948 million were the highest of any quarter and 3 percent above the first quarter of 2001. First-half merchandise revenues rose 1 percent to $1.82 billion. All general merchandise commodity groups reported revenue growth except the paper group.
Coal revenues declined 11 percent in the second quarter to $350 and fell 10 percent to $709 million in the first half of 2002.