MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA — Net income at the Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) totaled C$1.01 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, equal to C$1.42 per share on the common stock, up from C$786 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue remained flat at C$3.45 billion.
During the first quarter of 2020, the Canadian-based company was challenged with its rail network being compromised by blockades due to a protest unrelated to CN. Due to the protests, CN temporarily laid off employees and more than 1,400 trains, including passenger trains, were delayed or canceled because of the blockades, causing shutdowns of parts of the company’s network. Once the blockades were removed CN was able to deliver the backlogged grain and other commodities.
“I am very proud of how we recovered quickly in March from the service disruptions in February,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN. “Our network is very fluid, and we are continuing the temporary right-sizing of our resources to match the weaker demand caused by the global recession. We are committed to providing long-term shareholder value by delivering on our strategic capacity investments for growth and by deploying technological innovations.”
Revenues for the grain and fertilizers segment increased 6% to C$610 million from C$577 million.
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the uncertainty it brings to transportation, CN is withdrawing its 2020 financial guidance and three-year targets provided at the 2019 Investor Day.
CN transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route miles spanning Canada and mid-America.