Norfolk Southern Corporation reported third-quarter 2008 net income of $520 million, or $1.37 per diluted share, compared with $386 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, for the same period of 2007. Third-quarter income from railway operations increased 31% to a record $894 million.
“Our third quarter performance again demonstrates the strength of our diversified traffic base. We are also continuing to provide the high-quality service our customers require in this difficult economic environment,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman.
Third-quarter railway operating revenues were $2.9 billion, up 23% compared with the same period a year earlier. Continued weakness in the automotive and housing-related industries, mostly offset by strength in coal shipments, contributed to a one% reduction in traffic volume compared with the third quarter of 2007.
General merchandise revenues were $1.5 billion, an increase of 13% compared with the same period last year, despite a 6% decline in volume.
Coal revenues climbed 52% to $876 million in the quarter compared with the same period of 2007. Traffic volume increased by 23,548 carloads, or 6%, and set a record for the number of tons shipped in a quarter.
Despite flat volumes, intermodal revenues were $560 million, up 16% compared with the same period of 2007.
Railway operating expenses were $2.0 billion for the quarter, a 20% increase compared with the third quarter of 2007.
The railway operating ratio for the quarter improved by 2%age points to a record 69.1%, compared with 71.1% in 2007.