CN earnings up 23% in 2014

by World Grain Staff
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MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA — CN said on Jan. 27 that full-year adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 23% to C$3.76 on adjusted net income of C$3.095 billion in 2014 compared to C$2.582 billion a year earlier.

For the fourth quarter, diluted EPS increased 36% to C$1.03 from C76¢ in the fourth quarter of 2013. Fourth-quarter net income was C$844 million compared to C$635 million for the same period in 2013.

Revenues increased 15% in 2014 to C$12.134 billion. Grain and fertilizer revenues were up 21% for the year. The rise in total revenues was mainly attributable to higher freight volumes due to a record 2013-14 Canadian grain crop, strong energy markets, particularly crude oil and frac sand, new intermodal and automotive business; the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar on U.S.-dollar-denominated revenues; and freight rate increases.

“CN delivered a strong fourth-quarter 2014 performance, concluding a remarkable year characterized by brutal first-quarter winter weather, followed by a strong rebound starting in March, and capped by record full-year freight volumes. We're particularly proud of our solid operating performance that allowed us to move record volumes of Western Canadian grain and equally strong U.S. grain shipments,” said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer.

"Our agenda of Operational and Service Excellence is clearly working. This momentum is helping us to grow CN's business faster than the overall economy and to do so at low incremental cost. This will provide us with a strong foundation for 2015, a year in which we see continued opportunities for growth in energy-related commodities, intermodal traffic, and commodities tied to U.S. housing construction, automotive sales and other consumer spending."

Mongeau said the company hopes to deliver double-digit EPS growth in 2015. The board of directors has approved a 25% increase in CN’s 2015 quarterly common-share dividend.

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