NORFOLK, Va. (
beat the Street on both earnings per share and revenue in the first quarter, continuing the solid earnings reported by rail operators this quarter.
The outlook has been much improved for rails, and shares of Norfolk Southern had rallied 25% since early February ahead of its earnings report. Tuesday's closing price of $59.65 in Norfolk Southern shares was below a 52-week high of $61.27 that Norfolk Southern shares just hit on Monday.
Norfolk Southern shares were unchanged in the aftermarket session on Tuesday.
Norfolk Southern revenue increased 15% to $2.2 billion, ahead of the Street consensus of $2.1 billion. A 9% increase in traffic volume was the primary revenue driver.
Norfolk Southern earnings per share of 68 cents was two cents ahead of the Street consensus of 66 cents.
Profits rose 45% to $257 million in the first quarter for Norfolk Southern.
Coal revenues increased 4%to $629 million, compared with first-quarter 2009 results.
Intermodal revenues were up 12% versus the prior year, to $410 million.
On the expense line, higher fuel prices drove up expenses at Norfolk Southern by 8% to $1.7 billion -- fuel expenses were $95 million, or 60% higher.
-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.
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