Norfolk Southern railroad 1Q profit falls 18 pct

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2014 at 11:50 am •  Published: April 23, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Norfolk Southern's first-quarter profit fell 18 percent as severe winter weather slowed the railroad's shipments and coal revenue dropped 15 percent.

The Norfolk, Virginia, railroad earned $368 million, or $1.17 per share, during the January-March period. That's down from $450 million, or $1.41 per share, a year ago.

Last year's results were helped by a one-time $60 million real estate gain that boosted profits by 19 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings per share of $1.15 for the latest quarter.

Revenue declined 2 percent to $2.69 billion. Analysts expected $2.739 billion.

Declines in automotive, construction and forest product shipments offset increases in crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas shipments, so Norfolk Southern's merchandise shipments declined 1 percent.

Coal shipments fell 13 percent as export shipments declined and Norfolk Southern lost a utility delivery contract.

Intermodal shipments, which refer to shipping containers that are moved from ships to trucks and trains, were a bright spot for Norfolk Southern. Intermodal shipments grew 3 percent in the quarter.

Norfolk Southern shares fell $1.74, or nearly 2 percent, to $95.18 in midday trading Wednesday.