FORT WORTH, Texas — Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. reported quarterly earnings of $1.55 per diluted share, which included a tax benefit of $0.25 per share related to the fourth-quarter donation of a portion of a line segment located in Washington State. This compared to fourth-quarter 2008 earnings of $1.78 per diluted share, which included a fuel surcharge lag benefit of about $200 million.
“We have seen some improvement in volumes during the second half of 2009 and expect this gradual improvement to continue,” said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “BNSF will continue to position itself to meet demand consistent with the pace of the economic recovery. And as we look forward into 2010, we are preparing to become part of the Berkshire Hathaway family, pending shareholder approval in February.”
Fourth-quarter 2009 freight revenues decreased $675 million, or 16 percent, to $3.57 billion compared with $4.25 billion in the prior year. The 16-percent decrease in revenues included a decrease in fuel surcharges of $388 million primarily driven by the unfavorable change in the fuel surcharge lag effect. The remaining variance was due to unit volumes, which were 12 percent lower as a result of the economic downturn, partially offset by improved yields.