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Jan. 26, 2022, 8:16 a.m. EST

Norfolk Southern earnings beat expectations, as revenue growth outpaces rise in expenses

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYS:NSC) reported Wednesday fourth-quarter profit and revenue that topped Wall Street estimates, as the railroad company's operating ratio improved. The stock was still inactive in premarket trading. Net income rose to $760 million, or $3.12 a share, from $671 million, or $2.64 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $3.04. Total railway revenue increased 10.8% to $2.85 billion, topping the FactSet consensus of $2.83 billion, as intermodal and coal revenue beat expectations while merchandise revenue was in line. Revenue growth outpaced the 8.4% rise in operating expenses to $1.72 billion, which included a 2% increase in compensation and benefits expense. Railway operating ratio improved to a fourth-quarter record of 60.4% from 61.8%. The stock has lost 4.2% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJX:DJT) has declined 4.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) has slipped 4.1%.

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