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Oct 23, 2018

CN Rail rakes in record Q3 revenue amid concerns over capacity

CN Rail

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MONTREAL -- Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR.TO) says it raked in the highest quarterly revenues of its 99-year year history, helping the country's largest railroad to address concerns over operating capacity.

The Montreal-based railway earned a net income of $1.13 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, an 18 per cent year-over-year increase.

Adjusted earnings rose to $1.1 billion from $989 million a year ago. That equalled $1.50 per diluted share, marking a nearly 15 per cent leap from $1.31 per share a year earlier and beating the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Third-quarter revenues grew more than 14 per cent to $3.69 billion -- a CN record for any quarter -- from $3.22 billion.

CN and its rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said in September that they believe beefed-up inventories of locomotives, hopper cars and extra staff will help to prevent a repeat of last winter's grain-shipping backlog that farmers have said cost them millions of dollars in lost income.

CN says it is still expecting between $5.30 and $5.45 per adjusted diluted share this year, versus an earlier 2018 guidance of $5.10 to $5.25. The company is also reporting an operating ratio, which measures its efficiency, of 59.5 per cent, 2.3 points above the same quarter in 2017.