Canadian National Railway said it had a profit of $775 million in the first quarter, 16 percent more than the $668 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Revenue in the first quarter was $2.35 billion, up 13 percent from $2.08 billion in the same 2011 period.
Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said the company benefited from a milder winter and improving economic conditions, but that “CN’s commitment to operational and service excellence is the core driver of our strategy.”
By segment, CN said revenues increased for metals and minerals by 31 percent, followed by coal (18 percent), intermodal (17 percent), petroleum and chemicals (15 percent), automotive (13 percent), and forest products (10 percent). Grain and fertilizer revenues declined 2 percent.
CN said it expects 10 percent growth in diluted earnings per share this year.
A report by the investment firm Dahlman Rose said in the intermodal segment, CN's "overseas revenue grew 21 percent, with transpacific revenue up 30 percent. Traffic over CN's two West Coast gateways continued to outpace the transpacific market. Domestic intermodal revenue was up 12 percent, partly aided by truck conversions in the U.S." — Chris Dupin