For all of 2012, Norfolk Southern said its net income declined 9 percent to $1.75 billion, or $5.37 per share, on revenue of $11 billion. That's down from $1.9 billion net income, or $5.45 per share, in 2011 on $11.2 billion revenue.
Norfolk Southern operates about 20,000 miles of rail in 22 states, and the railroad serves all major container ports on the East Coast.
The other major freight railroad in the eastern United States, CSX Corp., also reported earnings Tuesday, but it was better able to offset the coal volume declines. CSX said its fourth-quarter profit declined 3 percent to $443 million, or 43 cents per share. That's down from $457 million, or 43 cents per share, in the previous year's fourth quarter.
Union Pacific Corp., the biggest railroad in the U.S., will release its fourth-quarter results on Thursday.
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Norfolk Southern Corp.: www.nscorp.com