NS Posts Record Operating Ratio

Norfolk Southern Corporation has reported its net income increased 23 percent to $497 million for the second quarter of 2017 when compared to last year’s second quarter. The increase was driven by a 15 percent jump in income from railway operations and a record operating ratio. Diluted earnings per share increased 26 percent to $1.71.

“Norfolk Southern’s strong financial results and all-time record operating ratio reflect the power of our team, successful execution of our dynamic plan, and focus on operating even more efficiently while providing high quality service to customers,” said James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern chairman, president and CEO. “We remain committed to our core pillars of safety, service, stewardship and growth as we continue to enhance operations across the organization.”

Railway operating revenues for the second quarter were $2.6 billion, a 7 percent increase compared with last year’s second quarter. Total volume was up by 6 percent, reflecting growth within coal and intermodal.

Railway operating expenses were up 4 percent, or $65 million, to $1.7 billon, primarily due to targeted expense reductions that helped offset volume and inflation-related expenses. The operating ratio was 66.3 percent, an all-time record. 

Income from railway operations was $888 million, up 15 percent compared to the 2016 second quarter.

“We are confident in our ability to reach our goals and deliver sustainable shareholder value in the near and long terms,” added Squires. “As a result of our achievements to date and the confidence we have in our outlook, we are increasing this year’s share repurchase guidance by 25% to $1 billion.”