CN Rail Revenues Slide on Lower Grain and Container Shipments

Canadian National Railway Co.‘s revenues slid slightly in its fourth quarter due to lower grain and container shipments, even as the company shored up parts of its operations.

The railroad operator reported revenues of $4.47 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, a 2% decrease from $4.54 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The Montreal-based company says net income rose 50% to $2.13 billion last quarter from $1.42 billion the year before, with improvements in train speed and dwell time adding to the gains.

On an adjusted basis, diluted earnings fell four per cent to $2.02 per share from $2.10 per share, and slightly beat analyst expectations of $1.99 per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

CN says lower container storage fees and fuel surcharge revenues were partly offset by freight rate hikes and bigger shipments of potash, natural gas liquids and refined petroleum products.

CN’s operating ratio — a measure of the railway’s efficiency that divides operating expenses by net sales — worsened by 1.4 points to hit 59.3 percent.

CN’s board of directors approved a seven per cent increase to its 2024 quarterly cash dividend, effective for the first quarter of 2024.