Norfolk Southern reports strong second-quarter earnings

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A 22 percent in traffic volume helped Norfolk Southern Corp. post solid earnings for the second-quarter. The company said Tuesday that railway operating revenues increased by 31 percent to $2.4 billion.

Overall, Norfolk Southern reported net income of $392 million, an increase of 59 percent, compared with $247 million for the second quarter of 2009.  Diluted earnings per share were $1.04, up 58 percent, compared to $66 cents per diluted share for the same period last year.

Meanwhile, income from railway operations increased 57 percent to $733 million. 
Railway operating expenses also were up. For the quarter, they were $1.7 billion, 22 percent higher than the same period last year, with the increase due primarily to higher compensation and benefits, and fuel expenses. 

“This is our fourth straight quarter of volume growth, and we are optimistic about continued year-over-year increases in rail traffic,” CEO Wick Moorman said in a statement.

During an earnings conference call, senior executives said constrained truckload capacity helped fuel the surge in rail traffic. Moorman also expects the September 9 opening of the company’s new Heartland Corridor to draw new customers. The new route designed for double-stacked container trains shaves about 230 miles off the trip from Norfolk to Chicago.

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