The Montreal-based Canadian National Railway (CN) reported a higher fourth-quarter profit and raised its dividend, bucking a weak trend among major North American railroads.
However, it has given an uncertain but far rosier outlooks for 2016 than most of its North American counterparts after strong international intermodal volume gains helped propel it to a double-digit profit rise.
CN said profit rose to $941-million while diluted earnings per share increased by 15 per cent to $1.18. Revenue fell by 1 per cent to $3.2-billion as carloads declined by 8 per cent.
It earned 941 million Canadi
an dollars ($669 million), or C$1.18 a share, up from C$844 million, or C$1.03, a year earlier. The latest results beat analyst expectations, which were for earnings of C$1.11 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
“I’m proud of the team and what they were able to achieve,” CN chief executive Claude Mongeau said.
For the full year of 2015, CN’s profit rose by 12 per cent to $3.5-billion, or $4.39 a share. Revenue rose by 4 per cent to a record $12.6-billion.
CN has a work force of 23,000 – 9-per-cent fewer employees than a year ago – and a 20,000-mile network in Canada and the United States that
reaches three coasts.