Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE:KSU) reported record third quarter 2012 revenues of $577 million, an increase of 6% over third quarter 2011 on a 7% increase in carloads.
Third quarter revenue growth compared to 2011 was led by a 31% increase in Automotive and a 25% increase in Intermodal revenues. Revenue from Energy was also strong, growing 8% over 2011. Revenues from Chemical & Petroleum and Industrial & Consumer grew by 4% and 1%, respectively, in the third quarter. Agriculture & Minerals revenue declined by 10% compared to 2011.
Operating income for the third quarter of 2012 was $181 million compared with $182 million a year ago. Adjusting for the third quarter 2011 gain on insurance recoveries related to Hurricane Alex, operating income increased by 16% over the prior year. KCS reported a third quarter 2012 operating ratio of 68.7%, a 2.6 point improvement over the 2011 adjusted operating ratio and an all-time record.
Operating expenses in the third quarter were $397 million compared with $363 million in the corresponding 2011 period. Adjusting for the third quarter 2011 gain on insurance recoveries, operating expense increased by 2% over the prior year.Reported net income in the third quarter of 2012 totaled $91 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, compared with $100 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011. Adjusting for the third quarter 2011 gain on insurance recoveries and debt retirement costs, earnings per diluted share increased by 5% over third quarter 2011. “The combination of solid top line growth and disciplined operating performance resulted in KCS delivering a third quarter operating ratio of 68.7%, the best in the Company’s history,” stated David L. Starling, KCS president and chief executive officer. “Revenues were primarily driven by KCS’ five fastest growing categories – automotive, cross-border intermodal, container traffic through Lázaro Cárdenas, crude oil and frac sand. Collectively, these five categories, which represent approximately 18% of total KCS freight revenues for the third quarter, grew by 46% when compared to the third quarter 2011, and we believe that there is significant long term growth potential in each of these areas.