Norfolk Southern Reports First-Quarter 2011 Results

NORFOLK, Va. — For the first quarter of 2011, Norfolk Southern Corp. reported net income of $325 million, or $0.90 per diluted share, 26 percent higher than $257 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2010.

First-quarter 2011 results included a $58 million non-cash charge associated with an unfavorable insurance arbitration ruling that reduced net income by $36 million, or $0.10 per diluted share. For the same period of 2010, results were impacted by a $27 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, deferred tax charge resulting from the enactment of healthcare legislation.

“Norfolk Southern delivered an excellent financial performance during the quarter, reflecting the strong market for freight rail transportation and the value of our service product,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “We see continuing opportunities for growth in almost every segment of our business, and we’re optimistic about our prospects for the balance of 2011.”

First-quarter railway operating revenues improved 17 percent to $2.6 billion, compared with the first quarter of 2010, as the result of 8 percent increases in revenue per unit and traffic volume.

General merchandise revenues were $1.3 billion, 10 percent higher compared with the same period last year. Coal revenues increased 30 percent to $816 million compared with first-quarter 2010 results. Intermodal revenues were $485 million, up 18 percent compared with the first quarter of last year.

Railway operating expenses for the quarter were $2.0 billion, up 20 percent compared with first-quarter 2010. The increase was largely due to higher fuel costs, which rose by $135 million or 53 percent, primarily as the result of increased prices as well as the effects of an unfavorable arbitration ruling and higher traffic volumes.

Income from railway operations for the quarter improved 8 percent to $600 million compared with the same period of 2010.

The railway operating ratio was 77.1 percent, compared with 75.2 percent in first- quarter 2010.