Norfolk Southern Extends Rail Earnings Streak

Norfolk Southern adds its name to the list of railroad companies beating Wall Street expectations, but a recent share-price rally in the sector ends nonetheless.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

beat Wall Street's second-quarter profit expectations, keeping alive a streak of earnings outperformance from the railroad sector.

Norfolk reported a bottom line of $392 million, or $1.04 a share, easily topping the Wall Street target of 99 cents. Revenue came to a little more than $2.4 billion, in line with consensus.

Norfolk Southern saw a 22% increase in shipment volume in the second quarter. Sales in the railroad's biggest category of general merchandise rose 31% to $1.3 billion. Coal revenue, which just a few quarters ago was the major headwind for the rail sector, increased 36% for Norfolk Southern, the largest increase among its segments.

A year ago, the company earned $247 million, or 66 cents a share.

On Tuesday morning,

Kansas City Southern

(KSU) - Get Report

also beat Wall Street expectations with a shipment increase of 35%, but its stock declined as the broader markets sold off and gains made by the rail shares over the past week were pared back. Kansas City Southern closed the session down 6%.

Norfolk shares declined in after-hours trading Tuesday after falling 1% in the regular session, ending a rally that began Thursday, when better-than-expected results from

Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Report

and

Canadian National Railways

(CNI) - Get Report

may have sparked heightened expectations for the rest of the rail sector.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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