January 24, 2019 / 9:28 PM / 10 months ago

Norfolk Southern profit tops Wall Street view

FILE PHOTO - Antoinette Lloyd inspects rail cars during her conductor trainee program at Norfolk Southern's Calumet Yard in Chicago, Illinois, January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

(Reuters) - Norfolk Southern Corp reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that topped Wall Street’s view on volume and pricing gains.

The fourth-largest U.S. railroad’s fourth-quarter profit was $702 million, or $2.57 per share, down from $3.97 billion, or $13.79 per share, last year when it booked a large tax gain from the changes to U.S. tax law.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $2.29 per share for the latest quarter, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Operating revenues increased 9 percent to $2.9 billion increased 9 percent, after volume increased 3 percent.

The railway operating ratio, or operating expenses as a percentage of revenues, was 62.8 percent. A lower ratio means more efficiency and higher profitability.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

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