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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

CP posts lower revenue, higher EPS in Q4

Canadian Pacific yesterday reported fourth-quarter 2016 revenue fell 3 percent to 1.64 billion Canadian dollars from CA$1.69 billion, while diluted earnings per share (EPS) rose 25 percent to CA$2.61 from $2.08 in fourth-quarter 2015.

Adjusted diluted EPS climbed 12 percent to CA$3.04 from $2.72, according to a CP press release.

The Class I's Q4 revenue and earnings were lower than expected by stock market analysts.

However, CP's focus on cost controls resulted in record low operating ratios for the fourth quarter (56.2 percent) and full year (58.6 percent).

"While the fourth quarter was weighed down by challenging operating conditions, including unexpected and extreme weather on the West Coast that compounded the impact of an already delayed grain harvest, it once again highlighted our resiliency and ability to operate efficiently under tough conditions," said CP Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison in the press release.

For the full year 2016, CP's revenue declined 7 percent to CA$6.23 billion, while reported diluted EPS increased 27 percent to CA$10.63. Adjusted EPS rose 2 percent to CA$10.29.

"2016 featured stiff economic headwinds and a challenging volume environment, headlined by a precipitous decline in crude oil shipments and weakness in grain movements, particularly in the first half," Harrison said. "These are not excuses, but opportunities to showcase our operating ability and leadership. As we have shown over the last four years, the precision railroading model works in all economic conditions."

In 2017, the railroad will continue to work on improving productivity, fluidity and safety of operations, CP officials said.

"With continued margin improvement and an anticipated increase in volumes, led by a stronger bulk outlook, we expect adjusted diluted EPS growth to be in the high single-digits," said CP President and Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel. "With our strong leadership team, plus the commitment and discipline shown by the thousands of men and women every day at CP, the franchise is well positioned for 2017 and beyond."

CP plans to spend about CA$1.25 billion in capital programs this year, an increase of 6 percent over 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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