CN Rail fourth-quarter revenues rise two percent on higher freight volumes

Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:22pm EST
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By Allison Lampert

(Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO: Quote) reported a 2 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Tuesday as the railroad moved higher volumes of Canadian grains and U.S. soybeans, refined petroleum products, finished vehicles and petroleum coke.

Canada's largest railroad company said net income rose 8 percent to C$1.02 billion ($775.02 million), or C$1.32 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from C$941 million, C$1.18 per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose to C$3.22 billion from C$3.17 billion.

In 2017, CN expects to deliver earnings per share growth in the mid-single-digit range compared with adjusted diluted earnings per share of C$4.59 in 2016.

"While the environment remains somewhat mixed, we do expect to see moderate volume growth," Chief Executive Luc Jobin told analysts.

CN expects 2017 volume growth in the range of 3 percent to 4 percent, driven in part by finished vehicles such as SUVs and trucks, and strong grain shipments during the first half of the year. Prices are expected to rise above inflation as capacity tightens in 2017.

Jobin said he is taking "a cautious view" on volume for the second half of 2017.

Talks to change rules under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), initiated by U.S. President Donald Trump, are not expected to have a negative impact on Canada, or CN, according to Jobin.   Continued...

A locomotive moves through the Canadian National (CN) railyards in Edmonton February 22, 2015. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber