UPDATE 1-Freight revenue growth drives Genesee & Wyoming profit

Thu Aug 2, 2012 8:08am EDT

* Q2 adj EPS $0.85 vs est $0.68

* Q2 revenue rose 3.7 pct

* Q2 carload traffic down 7 pct

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Railroad operator Genesee & Wyoming Inc's profit topped estimates for a third straight quarter as a 5 percent growth in freight revenue offset declines in carload traffic.

The company, which struck a $1.39 billion deal last week to buy RailAmerica Inc, said traffic declined by 7 percent to 232,315 carloads due to a drop in coal haulage.

Genesee & Wyoming also signed an agreement with Tata Steel Minerals Canada to construct and operate a rail line in Quebec.

The company owns and operates railroads in the United States, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, transporting commodities such as coal, paper, metals and minerals.

Net income for the second quarter rose to $36.4 million, or 84 cents per share, for the second quarter from $31.1 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 85 cents per share.

Revenue rose 3.7 percent to $217.4 million.

Freight revenue, which accounts for 71 percent of total revenue, rose 5 percent to $154.18 million.

Analysts on an average expected earnings of 68 cents per share on revenue of $218.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Greenwich, Connecticut-based company closed at $60.68 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. T hey have gained about 25 percent in the last two months.

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