CN Railway third-quarter profit misses on higher costs

A Canadian National Railway train travels eastward on a track in Montreal, February 22, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

(Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TOCNI.N on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that missed estimates, as the railroad operator incurred higher costs.

The company’s net income fell to C$958 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$972 million, a year earlier.

On a per share basis, earnings rose to C$1.27 from C$1.25.

Excluding items, the company earned C$1.31 per share, missing the average analysts’ estimate of C$1.32 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said operating expenses rose by 10 percent to C$1.76 billion.

CN reported an operating ratio of 54.7 percent, up from 53.3 percent, a year earlier.

The lower the operating ratio, a key industry metric which measures operating costs as a percentage of revenue, the more efficient the railroad.

Total revenue rose 6.9 percent to C$3.22 billion.

Last week, CN rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP.TO reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher shipments of crude oil, coal and potash.

Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta