On average, earnings per share at the six publicly traded railroads will fall by 1%, according to consensus estimates by Wall Street analysts.
Railroad executives will give their outlooks for the year, and unveil capital spending plans, during earnings calls scheduled over the next three weeks.
CSX Transportation will kick off Class I earnings when it reports its fourth quarter and full year results on Jan. 16. The railroad’s earnings are expected to slide by 1.9%, according to I/B/E/S. CSX’s traffic declined 6.5% in the fourth quarter, according to weekly carload data reported to the Association of American Railroads.
Kansas City Southern is expected to report significantly higher earnings on Jan. 17. Analysts expect its earnings per share to rise 19% as the railroad’s shift to a Precision Scheduled Railroading operating model produces efficiency gains and cost savings. KCS’s traffic declined 0.7% for the quarter.
Canadian Pacific is scheduled to report its financial results on Jan. 21. CP’s earnings are expected to rise 2.6% despite a 1.5% quarterly decline in traffic.
Union Pacific, whose traffic plunged 11% in the fourth quarter, is expected to see its quarterly earnings drop by 1.4%.
Canadian National is expected to report an earnings decline of 16% on Jan. 28. Its traffic declined 7.8% in the fourth quarter.
Norfolk Southern’s earnings are expected to dip 8.5%, nearly in line with its 9.1% fourth quarter decline in traffic. The railroad will report its financial results on Jan. 29.
BNSF Railway, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, is expected to report earnings alongside its parent company on Feb. 24. BNSF’s traffic dipped 6.2% in the quarter.