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Canadian National Railway's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Welcome to CN's First Quarter 2012 Financial Results Conference Call. I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr. Robert Noorigian, Vice President, Investor Relations. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Noorigan.

Robert Noorigian

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us for CN's first quarter 2012 financial results. I'd like to remind you about the comments that have already been made regarding forward-looking statements. With us today is Claude Mongeau, President and Chief Executive Officer; Luc Jobin, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Keith Creel, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; J.J. Ruest, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. And we consider that we had a superb quarter, and we would really appreciate it when the Q&A starts that if you would kindly focus your questions on CN and business related to CN. [Operator Instructions]

With that, it's now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Claude Mongeau, CN's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Claude Mongeau

Thank you, Bob, and I'm here in a foggy Halifax with the team to cover these results with you. We have our AGM, and I'm very pleased that we will be officially finishing the cycle for 2011 and starting the cycle for 2012 with very, very solid results. Our Q1 results were helped by milder winter throughout our serving territory. But make no mistake, these results are about strong execution. The CN team delivered on all key fronts, whether it's growth, whether it's efficiency, whether it's safety. Our agenda is working, and it's showing through in very solid financial results for our shareholders.

Revenues during the quarter were up double digit, about 12% to be exact, J.J. will give you the details. We're seeing good growth across all of the commodity markets we serve. Our ability to accommodate that growth at a low incremental cost and to balance service and operational excellence also show through during the quarter. Keith will give you some you key metrics around those lines, but our operating ratio at 66.2% is a record operating ratio for a first quarter and it's a full 2.8% improvement versus last year.

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