Norfolk Southern Reports 2009 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Southern Corp. reported fourth-quarter 2009 net income of $307 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, compared with $452 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, for the same quarter of 2008.

Net income for 2009 was $1.0 billion, or $2.76 per diluted share, compared with $1.7 billion, or $4.52 per diluted share, for 2008.

“Our fourth-quarter results demonstrate a continuation of the momentum we have generated since the second quarter of 2009,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “The results reflect a high level of performance throughout Norfolk Southern, and showcase the strength and flexibility of our franchise, our industry-leading safety and service performance, and continuing strong cost discipline.”

“We expect to build upon the sequential volume gains we experienced in the third and fourth quarters driven by anticipated improvement in economic conditions combined with project growth. We plan to invest about $1.4 billion, slightly higher than our 2009 capital spending, in our rail network in 2010, including leveraging technology to improve operational efficiency and service, and support the business growth we expect in future years.”

Fourth-quarter railway operating revenues were $2.1 billion, down 16 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. For 2009, railway operating revenues were $8.0 billion, down 25 percent compared with 2008.

General merchandise revenues were $1.1 billion, down 9 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2008. For 2009, general merchandise revenues were $4.2 billion, down 24 percent compared with 2008. General merchandise traffic volume declined 2 percent in the quarter and 21 percent for the year compared with the same periods of 2008.

Coal revenues in the fourth quarter were $580 million, down 27 percent compared with the same period last year. For 2009, coal revenues were $2.3 billion, 27 percent lower compared with 2008. Coal traffic volume declined 19 percent in the quarter and 20 percent for the year compared with the same periods of 2008.

Intermodal revenues were $407 million, down 15 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2008. For the full year, intermodal revenues were $1.5 billion, down 26 percent compared with 2008. Intermodal traffic volume was down 9 percent in the quarter and 16 percent for 2009 compared with the same periods of 2008.

Railway operating expenses were $1.6 billion for the quarter, 8 percent lower compared with fourth-quarter 2008. For 2009, railway operating expenses declined 21 percent to $6.0 billion, compared with 2008, primarily due to lower fuel costs.