BNSF: ‘We Are Well Positioned to Benefit When the Economy Recovers’

FORT WORTH, Texas — Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. reported quarterly earnings of $1.18 per diluted share, compared to second-quarter 2008 earnings of $1.00 per diluted share, which included a $0.31 per share charge related to environmental matters in Montana.

“BNSF had another strong quarter of cost control in an extremely difficult economic environment,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are beginning to see BNSF’s volumes stabilize in our more economic sensitive businesses, and because of our continued focus on productivity combined with our long-term market opportunities, we are well positioned to benefit when the economy recovers.”

Second-quarter 2009 freight revenues decreased $1.13 billion, or 26 percent, to $3.22 billion compared with $4.35 billion in the prior year. The 26-percent decrease in revenues included a decrease in fuel surcharges of about $600 million. The remaining variance was due to lower unit volumes as a result of the economic downturn, partially offset by improved yields.

Coal revenues of $875 million were down $27 million, or 3 percent, on flat unit volumes. Agricultural Products decreased $210 million, or 25 percent, to $618 million on lower unit volumes primarily driven by reduced domestic loadings and international grain shipments, partially offset by improved yields.

Industrial Products revenues fell $360 million, or 34 percent, to $686 million, which included a decline in unit volumes that was driven by lower demand for construction products and building products and was partially offset by improved yields.

Consumer Products revenues declined $535 million, or 34 percent, to $1.04 billion, on lower international intermodal, domestic intermodal and automotive volumes due to economic conditions.

Decreased fuel surcharges driven by lower fuel prices also negatively impacted revenues of each of the business units.

Operating expenses for the second quarter of 2009 declined $1.25 billion, or 33 percent, to $2.52 billion, compared with second-quarter 2008 operating expenses of $3.76 billion. The $1.25 billion reduction was primarily attributable to strong cost controls, decreased unit volumes and lower fuel prices.