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Norfolk Southern Q1 earnings surpass estimates

The Class I railway increased its year-over-year net income, revenues and volumes.

   Norfolk Southern’s net income for the first quarter of 2018 surged 27 percent from the corresponding prior-year period to $552 million, the Class I railway announced Wednesday.
   Earnings per share of $1.93 greatly exceeded the $1.48 per share for the first quarter of last year.
   Although it was no surprise Norfolk Southern was going to fare well during the quarter, considering how well it performed financially in 2017, coupled with a lower effective income tax rate, the railway had exceeded the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research of $1.77 per share.
   A 10 percent year-over-year boost in income from railway operations also helped the company’s bottom line during the quarter.
   Railway operating revenues for the quarter rose 6 percent year-over-year to $2.7 billion, as overall volumes ticked up 3 percent.
   Norfolk Southern’s operating ratio for the quarter totaled 69.3 percent, an improvement from 70.6 percent for the first quarter of 2017.
   On Tuesday, Norfolk Southern announced a quarterly dividend of $0.72 per share on its common stock, payable on June 11 to shareholders of record on May 4.
   CSX, Kansas City Southern, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific already have released their financial results for the first quarter of the year, while Union Pacific is scheduled to release its figures Thursday.
   Although the Canada-based railroads saw their profits plummet year-over-year during the quarter due to a rough winter, both remain more optimistic about Q2.