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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
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  • DATVF.SEALAX
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  • ITVI.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
    6.600
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  • OTVI.USA
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American ShipperIntermodalShipping

NS steams past earnings estimates again

The Norfolk, Va.-based Class I railway posted diluted EPS of $2.50 per share, beating consensus estimate by $0.19 per share.

   Norfolk Southern Corp. saw its net income for the second quarter of 2018 jump 42.9 percent to $710 million compared with the same three-month period last year, according to the Class I railway’s most recent financial statements.
   The company set a second-quarter record for diluted earnings per share at $2.50, up from $1.71 per share in Q2 2017 and beating a consensus estimate from Zacks Investment Research by $0.19 per share. The Norfolk, Va.-based freight railroad has now exceeded analyst expectations for four straight quarters, with an average earnings beat of 7.1 percent, according to Zacks.
   Railway operating revenues grew 9.9 percent year-over-year to $2.9 billion for the quarter, thanks in large part to a 5.8 percent increase in overall transport volumes.
   Volume growth was broad-based, with intermodal shipments rising 8.2 percent from the second quarter of 2017 and merchandise and coal volumes climbing 3.2 and 2.8 percent, respectively.
   “Our second-quarter results reflect strong growth in our business and our sustained commitment to improving financial performance,” said NS Chairman, President and CEO James A. Squires. “We are committed to delivering financial results that benefit our shareholders and service that benefits our customers.”
   Through the first six months of 2018, NS has increased its profits 35.7 percent to $1.26 billion ($4.43 per diluted share), compared with the same 2017 period on revenues that rose 7.7 percent to $5.62 billion.
   Five of the other six Class I North American freight railroads already have reported their second-quarter financial results.
   CSX, Norfolk Southern’s primary competitor, fared the best in terms of profit growth, with net earnings surging 72 percent year-over-year to $877 million, followed by Union Pacific, up 29.2 percent to $1.51 billion; Canadian National, the larger of the two Canada-based Class Is, up 27.1 percent to C$1.3 billion (U.S. $995.8 million); and Kansas City Southern, up 10.4 percent to $148.7 million.
   Canadian Pacific, meanwhile, saw its net income drop 9.2 percent to C$436 million for the quarter amid service disruptions from labor negotiations.
   Investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, owner of BNSF Railroad, is expected to report its second-quarter 2018 results on Aug. 3, according to Zacks.

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