Grain revenue, grain handle higher in CP’s Q1

Increased grain and potash traffic and revenue helped Canadian Pacific Railway book a shift to “positive volumes” in its first-quarter ledger.

Calgary-based CP on Wednesday reported net income of $431 million on revenues of $1.603 billion for its quarter ending March 31, down from $540 million on $1.591 billion in the year-earlier period.

“We turned a corner in March and are now seeing positive volumes, which makes us cautiously optimistic that the demand environment is improving,” CEO Keith Creel said in a release.

CP reported moving 107,000 carloads in its grain segment in the first quarter, up from 100,000 in the same quarter in 2016, for total grain revenue of $393 million, up from $367 million, for slightly higher revenue per carload of $3,688, up $30.

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Potash carloads rose to 31,000 for the quarter, up from 27,000, for revenue per carload of $3,130, up from $3,064. In the fertilizers and sulphur segment, however, carloads dropped from 16,000 to 14,000, for revenue per carload of $4,217, down from $4,993.

Total carloads for the quarter were up two per cent at 625,000, while overall revenue per carload slipped slightly to $2,499 from $2,520.

“CP’s strong focus on developing its bench strength resulted in a seamless leadership transition and a seasoned executive team that is focused on leveraging CP’s proven operating model,” Creel said in the company’s release, referring to the departure of previous CEO Hunter Harrison effective Jan. 31.

“Our talented and engaged workforce together with disciplined cost control gives us a great deal of confidence that we’ll be able to deliver high single-digit adjusted diluted (earnings per share) growth in 2017 and create long-term value for shareholders.”

CP’s Montreal-based competitor Canadian National Railway (CN) plans to release its Q1 results on Monday. — AGCanada.com Network

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