American Shipper

Norfolk Southern profits up 37% in 4th-quarter

Norfolk Southern profits up 37% in 4th-quarter

   Norfolk Southern Corp. posted record fourth quarter net income of $362 million up 37 percent from $264 million in the year-earlier period.

   Net income for the full year 2005 was also a record $1.3 billion, up 39 percent from it previous best ever, $923 million posted in 2004. Results for 2005 included a benefit of $96 million, from the effects of Ohio tax legislation

   Norfolk Southern’s operating revenues and income from railway operations each set fourth-quarter and full-year records. Income from railway operations increased 29 percent to $594 million for the quarter and 24 percent to $2.1 billion for 2005. Fourth quarter railway operating revenues increased 16 percent to $2.2 billion, while full year results increased 17 percent to $8.5 billion.

   “2005 was an extraordinary year for Norfolk Southern, capped by a fourth quarter that reflects the strength of our higher-value transportation products and strategic focus,” said Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern’s chief executive officer. “Demand for rail transportation was strong throughout the year, and our 2005 financial results reflect record levels of performance throughout our organization.”

   “Railway operating revenues were the highest of any year in Norfolk Southern’s history. All our commodity groups set revenue records. We posted our best-ever income from railway operations, net income and earnings per share. We set new carloading records, and we continued to significantly improve the railway operating ratio,” Moorman said.

   Norfolk Southern’s stock closed up 4.46 percent at $49.85 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday evening.