Norfolk Southern 4Q profit jumps 44 percent

Norfolk Southern Corp. said it hauled in 44 percent more fourth-quarter profit as volume increased 3 percent and the railroad increased shipping prices.

The Norfolk, Virginia-based company said Thursday it had $702 million net income, or $2.57 per share in the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That’s up from adjusted net income of $486 million, or $1.69 per share, the previous year.

The results from the latest quarter surpassed the $2.30 per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected.

The railroad’s revenue grew 9 percent to $2.9 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.85 billion.

The railroad said its quarterly results were helped by gains from one-time land sales.

Norfolk Southern officials have developed a plan to make their railroad more efficient and implement some of the operating principles other railroads have been using with great success over the past couple years. The railroad plans to share details of that plan with investors next month.

Its stock slipped $1.94, or about 1 percent, to $164 in after-hours trading Thursday following the release of the earnings report.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on NSC at https://www.zacks.com/ap/NSC