Canadian railways poised to outperform as U.S. rival Norfolk Southern issues profit warning

Norfolk Southern said a combination of lower-than-expected coal volumes, bad weather and a plunge in fuel-surcharge revenue weighed on its results in the winter quarter.

Shares in both of the big Canadian railways fell Tuesday after Virginia-based Norfolk Southern Corp. began first-quarter earnings season with a profit warning. However, analysts believe the Canadian railways are much better positioned than their U.S. competitors to weather any sector weakness.

Virginia-based Norfolk Southern said a combination of lower-than-expected coal volumes, rainwater and a plunge in fuel-surcharge revenue weighed on its results in the winter quarter.

\”Every so often we get a quarter like this one in which a lot of the parts move against us,\” CEO Wick Moorman said on the conference call Tuesday.

Although the railway won\’t officially release its results until April 29, it warned Monday night that it expects diluted earnings per share to come in at US$1.00, 15 percent lower than a year ago and well underneath the average analyst expectation of US$1.26.

Norfolk Southern shares fell 4.18 per cent Tuesday to US$100.49.

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