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Despite weaker-than-expected petroleum products shipments in the fourth quarter, Genesee & Wyoming Inc.'s (GWI) North American income from operations climbed 19.7 percent to $113.5 million compared with fourth-quarter 2013's total.GWI also reported today that fourth-quarter operating revenue rose 6.1 percent to $415.6 million, same-railroad revenue was flat at $298.1 million, traffic increased 8.1 percent to 510,141 units, net income jumped 34 percent to $87.6 million, adjusted diluted earnings grew 19.1 percent to $1.12 per share and the operating ratio improved 2.9 points to 72.7."Our financial results for the fourth quarter were solid, as our North American operations performed well thanks to a good U.S. economy, which more than offset weakness in our Australian operations," said GWI President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann in a press release. "In Australia, our operating income declined 4 percent due to weaker shipments from both iron ore and intermodal customers, although effective cost controls resulted in an Australian operating ratio of 67 percent."For the full year, GWI reported net income of $261 million compared with $272.1 million in 2013. Excluding the impact of certain items, adjusted net income was $233.5 million versus $214.7 million in 2013. Operating revenue increased 4 percent to $1.64 million and the operating ratio improved 1.5 points to 74.3."After a slow start to 2014 due to severe winter weather, pre-tax income increased approximately 17 percent for the final nine months of 2014 led by the relative strength of the U.S. economy and the successful integration of the Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern Railroad," said Hellmann. “In 2015, we expect continued growth from our North American operations, which represents approximately 80 percent of our revenue, partially offset by a contraction in our Australian operations … due to the closure of several iron ore mines."
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