Grain News


CN Reports 4Q Net Income of C$610, Up From C$592 in 4Q 2012; And Full Year Net Income of C$2.68 Billion

Date Posted: January 22, 2013

Montreal—CN (TSX: CNR)(NYSE: CNI) reported Jan. 22 its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2012.

Full CN Report

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: “CN's team of railroaders delivered impressive fourth-quarter results on the strength of a seven per cent increase in revenues, capping a very strong 2012 performance.

“Thanks to our supply chain collaboration focus and solid execution, CN's growth last year continued to outpace that of the overall economy, generating the highest volumes and earnings in Company history.

“In 2012, we experienced strong growth in commodities related to oil and gas, particularly crude oil, and saw continued market share gains in overseas and domestic intermodal.

"CN also benefited from strong coal and petroleum coke exports, increased wheat and soybean exports, as well as higher lumber and panels shipments to the United States.”

Foreign currency impact on results

Although CN reports its earnings in Canadian dollars, a large portion of its revenues and expenses is denominated in U.S. dollars.

As such, the Company's results are affected by exchange-rate fluctuations.

On a constant currency basis that excludes the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, CN's fourth-quarter 2012 net income would have been higher by C$11 million, or C$0.03 per diluted share, while its 2012 net income would have been lower by C$14 million, or C$0.03 per diluted share.

Positive 2013 outlook, increased dividend

Mongeau said: “For 2013, CN anticipates continued gradual improvement in the economy and further growth opportunities in intermodal, energy and other resource markets.

"Despite the challenge of an approximate C$150-million headwind related to increased pension expense and the impact of depreciation studies, CN is aiming for high single-digit growth in 2013 diluted earnings per share over adjusted diluted earnings per share of C$5.61 for 2012.

"CN also expects to generate 2013 free cash flow in the range of C$800 million to C$900 million, including a normalized, higher level of cash taxes.

“Given CN's strong balance sheet and its solid outlook for earnings and free cash flow generation, I am pleased to announce that the Company's Board of Directors has approved a 15 per cent increase in CN's 2013 quarterly common-share dividend.”

Fourth-quarter 2012 revenues, traffic volumes and expenses

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by seven per cent to C$2,534 million. Revenues increased for coal (15 per cent), petroleum and chemicals (13 per cent), grain and fertilizers (11 per cent), intermodal (seven per cent), and automotive (five per cent). Revenues declined for forest products (two per cent), and metals and minerals (one per cent).

Carloadings for the quarter rose three per cent to 1,270 thousand.

Revenue ton-miles, measuring the relative weight and distance of rail freight transported by CN, increased by eight per cent over the year-earlier quarter.

Rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile, a measurement of yield defined as revenue earned on the movement of a ton of freight over one mile, declined by one per cent.

Total operating expenses increased by five per cent to C$1,612 million.

Full-year 2012 revenues, traffic volumes and expenses

2012 revenues increased 10 per cent to C$9,920 million, with all business units registering gains: petroleum and chemicals (15 per cent), coal (15 per cent), metals and minerals (13 per cent), intermodal (11 per cent), automotive (11 per cent), forest products (five per cent), and grain and fertilizers (four per cent).

The rise in total revenues was largely attributable to higher freight volumes, due in part to growth in North American and Asian economies, and the Company's performance above market conditions in a number of segments, as well as increased volumes in the second quarter as a result of a labor disruption at a key competitor; freight rate increases; the impact of a higher fuel surcharge as a result of year-over-year increases in applicable fuel prices and higher volumes; and the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar on U.S. dollar-denominated revenues.

Carloadings for the year increased four per cent to 5,059 thousand.

Revenue ton-miles increased by seven per cent over 2011, while rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile increased by three per cent.

Total operating expenses for 2012 increased by nine per cent to C$6,235 million, mainly due to higher labor and fringe benefits expense, increased purchased services and material expense, as well as increased fuel costs.

For more information, call 905-669-3384.

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