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Kansas City Southern Inc KSU
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 01/22/2013

Operator: Greetings and welcome to the Kansas City Southern Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

This presentation includes statements concerning potential future events involving the Company, which could materially differ from the events that actually occur. The differences could be caused by a number of factors, including those factors identified in the Risk Factor section of the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the SEC. The Company is not obligated to update any forward-looking statements in this presentation to reflect future events or developments. All reconciliations to the GAAP can be found on the KCS website at www.kcsouthern.com.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, David Starling, President and Chief Executive Officer for Kansas City Southern. Mr. Starling, you may now begin.

David L. Starling - President and CEO: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Joining me on the KCS fourth quarter and full year 2012 earnings call are Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Dave Ebbrecht; Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Pat Ottensmeyer; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mike Upchurch; and with us here today is Jose Zozaya, Our President and Executive Representative of KCSM who will be available during the Q&A period.

Turning to the KCS overview; I'm pleased to be able to say that despite weakness in utility coal traffic and the adverse impacts of one of the worst droughts in U.S. history on our grain business, KCS had another outstanding year in 2012. Record carloadings and revenues along with strong operating performance and a stable pricing environment resulted in a full year adjusted operating ratio of 69.9.

Let me be clear in this case the adjustment actually resulted in a higher operating ratio. Our reported OR was 68 when you exclude a one-time benefit from the elimination of the net deferred liability that we explained to you in the second quarter. The adjusted number is 69.9.

This is a historic achievement for KCS and it marks the first time this Company has had a full year operating ratio below 70. We are both very proud of this accomplishment as it took the combined efforts of both our Mexican and U.S. employees. Obviously the continued strong performance at KCS has been recognized by investors. While this is gratifying and appreciated, all of us both you and the financial community and we at KCS are now focused on the future. For that reason our presentation this morning is as much a look ahead as it a review of the fourth quarter and 2012.

We want to emphasize yet again that the KCS growth story is by no means slowing down. Really, it's just the opposite. While there are many factors that go into an investment decision, we believe that KCS will have the kind of escalating business growth that will continue to make this company a very viable investment option.

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