CN’s net income rises to $659 million

CN has reported its financial and operating results for the third quarter and nine-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2011.

Net income increased 19% from the year-earlier quarter to C$659 million, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) rising 23 per cent to C$1.46.

The results included an after-tax gain of C$38 million, or C$0.08 per diluted share, on the sale of substantially all of the assets of IC RailMarine Terminal Company.

Excluding the gain on the sale, adjusted net income increased 12% over the year-earlier quarter to C$621 million, with adjusted diluted EPS rising 16% to C$1.38.

Revenues for third-quarter 2011 rose nine per cent to C$2,307 million, while carloadings grew by four per cent and revenue ton-miles increased six per cent.

Operating income increased 12% to C$938 million.

CN’s operating ratio was 59.3%, a 1.4-point improvement over the 60.7% operating ratio for third-quarter 2010.

Free cash flow for the first nine months of 2011 was C$1,328 million, compared with C$938 million for the same period of 2010.

CN to launch a new share repurchase program on Oct. 28, 2011, to buy back up to 17 million common shares.

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said:

“CN posted impressive third-quarter results, driven by record carloadings and revenues, strong operational execution, and rigorous cost control.

“The four per cent rise in carloadings and nine per cent increase in revenues outpaced general economic activity during the quarter, reflecting CN’s improved service and market positioning.

“All commodity groups posted revenue gains in the quarter, benefiting from modest growth in overall economic activity, as well as from CN’s continued focus on supply chain collaboration and service innovation with its customers and transportation partners.”

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