CN Rail Profit Misses Estimates as Weather Boosts Costs

Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR) reported fourth-quarter profit that fell short of estimates as harsher-than-normal winter weather drove up costs.

Profit excluding some items rose 4.1 percent to C$635 million ($569 million), or 76 Canadian cents a share, from C$610 million, or 71 cents, the Montreal-based company said today in a statement. That trailed the 77 cent average estimate of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Colder-than-normal temperatures in December forced Montreal-based Canadian National, the country’s largest railroad, to run shorter trains and spend more on labor to clear the tracks. Operating expenses climbed 10 percent, outpacing a 8.3 percent increase in revenue, the company said today.

Revenue rose to C$2.75 billion, above the average estimate of C$2.73 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Canadian National rose 2.2 percent to C$59.34 today at the Toronto close. It’s gained 24 percent in the past year, beating the 7.4 percent gain of the benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index.

The company raised its quarterly dividend today to 25 cents a share, a 16 percent increase. The dividend will be paid on March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 10, the company said in a separate statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: {Frederic Tomesco} in Montreal at tomesco@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.