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July 25, 2018 1:00 PM, EDT

Norfolk Southern Reports Record 2Q Earnings

Norfolk Southern train Emmit Tullos/Flickr

Norfolk Southern Corp. on July 25 reported record second-quarter earnings.

The Norfolk, Va., company’s net income reached $710 million, up 43%, compared with $497 million in the year-ago period. Diluted earnings per share were $2.50, compared with $1.71 last year, an increase of 46%.

James Squires

Squires

Norfolk Southern said railway operating revenue was $2.9 billion, an increase of 10% compared with $2.63 billion in 2017.

Overall volumes were up 6% in all three major commodities categories: intermodal, coal and merchandise. The company’s second-quarter operating ratio fell to a second-quarter record of 64.6 from 66.3. Operating ratio, or operating expenses as a percentage of revenue, is a key industry metric.

“Our second-quarter results reflect strong growth in our business and our sustained commitment to improving financial performance,” CEO James Squires said. “We are committed to delivering financial results that benefit our shareholders and service that benefits our customers.”

Norfolk Southern said second-quarter railroad operating expenses climbed to $1.87 billion from $1.74 billion in 2017.