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CN Rail Profit Misses Estimates as Weather Boosts Costs

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian National Railway Co. 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

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