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Norfolk Southern Beats 4Q Profit Expectations, Volumes Down 1%

By Micah Maidenberg

 

Norfolk Southern Corp. said volumes slipped overall in the fourth quarter, though revenue tied to some product types picked up.

Norfolk Southern, a railroad company with a network that covers parts of the South, Northeast and Midwest, on Wednesday reported net income of $671 million, or $2.64 a share, up from $666 million, or $2.55 a share, for the year-earlier period, and ahead of forecasts from analysts.

Operating revenue slipped to $2.57 billion for the quarter from $2.69 billion and was more than the $2.55 billion that analysts were looking for, according to FactSet.

Volumes were down 1% in the fourth quarter, the Norfolk, Va.-based company said.

Railroads saw demand fall off last year as the economy ratcheted down due to the coronavirus pandemic, but shipments have been stronger overall in the first parts of the new year.

Total carload and intermodal-unit shipments among U.S. railroads were up about 5% during the first two weeks of 2021 compared with the same stretch last year, the Association of American Railroads said last week. Intermodal demand led those gains, according to the trade group.

Norfolk Southern said that revenue from coal and from chemicals fell 20% and 13%, respectively, year-over-year, while revenue from metal and construction shipments were up 2% and intermodal revenue rose 5%.

 

Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 27, 2021 08:40 ET (13:40 GMT)

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