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Rail News: Kansas City Southern

KCS posts higher net income in Q1

Despite facing lower carload volumes and flooding issues during the period, Kansas City Southern reported higher profit during first-quarter 2016 compared with first-quarter 2015.

KCS announced this morning that Q1 2016 net income rose to $108 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, from $101 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, in Q1 2015.

Q1 2016 revenue fell 7 percent to $562.7 million from $603.1 million in Q1 2015. Excluding the estimated impacts of Mexican peso depreciation and lower U.S. fuel price effects, revenue fell 1 percent, according to a KCS press release.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.03 for the quarter, which was flat compared to Q1 2015 but beat Wall Street analysts' forecast.

Operating income for the quarter was $188 million, which was flat when compared to operating income in Q1 2015 when excluding 2015 lease termination costs. KCS posted an operating ratio of 66.6 percent for the quarter, a 2.3-point improvement from the year-ago period.

Operating expenses were cut 12 percent to $375 million compared with the year-ago period. Excluding the estimated impacts of Mexican peso depreciation and lower U.S. fuel prices, adjusted operating expenses decreased 3 percent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

Carload activity fell 5 percent during Q1 2016.

"Despite flooding that shut down key portions of our U.S. rail network for over three weeks, KCS delivered solid earnings and operating results," said KCS Chief Executive Officer David Starling. "That we overcame this very significant challenge while simultaneously scaling costs across the network clearly demonstrates KCS' ability to react quickly to rapid and unexpected changes to its operating environment."

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