CN results improve with economy

(Montreal) Canadian National Railways (CN) reported sharply higher second-quarter earnings and revenue on Tuesday as it began to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Montreal Railroad Company reported earnings of 1.03 billion, or $1.46 per share, in the fourth quarter, compared to earnings of 545 million, or 77 cents per share, for the same period a year earlier.

Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings were $1.06 billion, or $1.49 per share, compared to $908 million, or $1.28 per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue for the fourth quarter ended June 30 was $3.60 billion, down from $3.21 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected adjusted average earnings per share of $1.49, plus revenue of $3.66 billion, according to forecasts compiled by financial data firm Refinitiv.

The operating ratio, a measure of efficiency that expresses expenses as a percentage of revenue, was 61.6%, an improvement of 13.9 points from 75.5% over the second quarter of last year. However, it increased on an adjusted basis by 1.2 percentage points, from 60.4% to 61.6%.

In 2020, CN took extraordinary measures, including using longer and heavier trains, due to the sharp drop in volumes due to the pandemic. Now that the economy has recovered from COVID-19, the carrier is back to its usual operating plan, which relies on faster trains.

Canadian National’s board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend of 61.5 cents per share, which will be paid September 29 to shareholders of record effective September 8.

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The release of CN’s quarterly earnings comes as the carrier awaits a decision from the US Road Transportation Board, which must decide whether to allow a voting fund for Kansas City Southern while its $33.6 billion acquisition proposal is investigated by regulators. organizational. the body.

CN could face a $1 billion fine if the voting fund is not approved, on top of the $700 million it agreed to pay to KCS after the latter turned its back on its earlier consolidation deal with Canadian Pacific Rail. (CP).

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