NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Southern Corp. reported another record-breaking quarter Tuesday.
The company reported net income of $410 million ($1.23 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2012, 26 percent higher than $325 million ($0.90 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2011.
First-quarter 2011 results included a $58 million non-cash charge that reduced net income by $36 million, or $0.10 per diluted share.
"I am pleased to report we achieved first-quarter highs in revenues, operating income, net income, and earnings per share," said CEO Wick Moorman in a statement. "The benefits of our steady focus on service and operating efficiency are reflected in our results, and we continue to position our franchise for sustained growth through strategic investments in infrastructure."
Compared to the first quarter of 2011, railway operating revenues improved 6 percent to $2.8 billion, primarily as the result of a 5 percent increase in revenue per unit in the first quarter of 2012; general merchandise revenues improved 13 percent to $1.5 billion; coal revenues declined 6 percent to $766 million; and intermodal revenues improved 9 percent to $527 million.
The drop in coal revenues and tonnage is not a concern, said Steve Dillen, rail transportation program coordinator at Penn State Altoona.
"They have offset that by hauling other goods," Dillen said.
The improvement in intermodal revenues is significant, Dillen said.
Railway operating expenses for the quarter were $2 billion, up 1 percent compared to first-quarter 2011. The increase was largely due to higher fuel prices, compensation costs, and materials expenses, offset in part by the absence of last year's non-cash charge.
Income from railway operations for the first quarter increased 24 percent to $745 million compared with the same period of 2011. The first-quarter railway operating ratio improved 5 percent to 73.3 percent compared with first-quarter 2011, and equaled the first-quarter record.
Norfolk Southern Corp. is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates about 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States.