CN Revenue Up 2% in 2020 4th Quarter

Canadian National reported this week that fourth quarter 2020 revenues rose 2 percent to C$3.656 billion vs. the same period in 2019.

CN executives said the increase was due to increased shipments of U.S. grain, higher international container traffic via the Port of Vancouver, and freight rate increases.

However, CN said it also had lower applicable fuel surcharge rates and lower volumes of petroleum crude.

Operating income was up 16 percent to C$1.411 billion and the operating ratio fell 4.6 points to 61.4 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2019 results.

Total revenue ton miles were up 10 percent and carloads were up 7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Revenues for 2020 fell 7 percent to C$13.819 billion, which CN said was due to lower volumes across most commodity groups, primarily in the second and third quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CN said these lower traffic volumes were partly offset by freight rate increases as well as record Canadian grain shipments.

Operating income dropped 15 percent to C$4.777 billion, and the operating ratio increased 2.9 points to 65.4 percent vs. 2019.

Total RTMs and carloads were down 5 percent for the year compared with 2019.

CN expects to spend C$3.0 billion in 2021 on capital expenditures and is projecting “mid-single digit volume growth in 2021 in terms of RTMs.

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