CN quarterly profits down on higher costs

Canadian National Railway released its third quarter financial results last week, reporting net income of $958 million on revenues of $3.22 billion.

Net income during the same period last year was $972 million.

CN president Luc Jobin said demand for CN services continues to grow, especially in key business segments such as frac sand, intermodal, coal and Canadian grain.

Third quarter operating expenses rose 10 percent to $1.76 billion.

Jobin said the company is on track to exceed 2016 profit numbers despite rising costs.

“We are reaffirming our 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) outlook of $4.95 to $5.10, compared to last year’s adjusted diluted EPS of $4.59,” he said.

To accommodate growing demand for rail services, CN announced plans to spend an additional $100 million this year on infrastructure and equipment.

That will boost the company’s total annual spending on infrastructure and equipment to $2.7 billion.

The company also plans to boost its workforce to keep up with demand.

“During the third quarter, and continuing through the rest of the year, we’ve been hiring across our network, particularly in Western Canada, as we remain focused on delivering superior service to our customers,” Jobin said.

CN reported a quarterly operating ratio of 54.7 percent, up from 53.3 percent, a year earlier.

A lower ratio signals a higher level of railroad efficiency.

Contact brian.cross@producer.com

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