Norfolk Southern CEO: Confident Outlook for 2014

Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman gave stockholders plenty of reasons for continued optimism following a year of record-breaking performance.

“Clearly, 2013 was a big year for us,” Moorman said in addressing the company’s annual meeting today in Williamsburg, Va.

As for 2014, Moorman said, “We came into the new year believing that most of the strength that we saw in our markets in 2013, and particularly in the second half, would continue, and we still feel that way.” What wasn’t foreseen, he noted, was the most severe winter in years, which adversely affected first-quarter revenues, expenses, and service.

“However, I’m happy to report that the Norfolk Southern operating team came through with flying colors. The result is that today our operating metrics are much improved, and we are steadily progressing to the high service levels we and our customers enjoyed last year.”

Moorman said, “Once the cold weather departed, we saw our business rebound almost immediately,” led by intermodal and energy-related markets, with the auto business also gaining strength. “I’m confident that 2014 will be another very good year for our company,” he said.

“The real key to our future and the reason for my confidence is our people. I strongly believe we have the best people in the railroad business, and we’re working hard every day to make sure that we capture all of their good ideas on how we can make NS better,” Moorman said.