Norfolk Southern’s Fourth-Quarter Earnings Rise

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Eastern freight railroad Norfolk Southern Corp. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 6%, as record revenue from coal shipments offset declines in intermodal shipments.Fourth-quarter net earnings rose to $385 million or 95 cents per share, from $362 million or 87 cents a year earlier. Revenue rose 3% to $2.32 billion from $2.26 billion.Net income for the full year 2006 was a record $1.5 billion, or $3.57 per share, up 16% from $1.3 billion or $3.11 per share in 2005, NS said. Revenue from coal shipments rose 13% to $592 million, which helped offset a 5% decline in intermodal shipments, to $493 million. General merchandise revenue rose 2% to $1.2 billion. All commodity groups within the segment except automotive posted revenue growth in the period, the company said.