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Harsh weather slams profit in Q1 at Genesee & Wyoming

By VELVET SPICER  - 5/1/2014 3:44:05 PM

Adverse weather had a heavy impact on Genesee & Wyoming Inc. as the company’s net income and earnings per share toppled in the first quarter.

G&W reported adjusted net income of $39.8 million, compared with $44.9 million in the first quarter 2013. Adjusted earnings per share were 70 cents, down from 80 cents.

The company reported a small increase in operating revenues to $376.3 million from $375 million in the first quarter 2013.

Analysts had expected diluted earnings per share of 84 cents on revenues of $383.37 million.

“G&W’s financial results for the first quarter of 2014 were significantly impacted by extreme winter weather that disrupted several of our North American operations,” President and CEO Jack Hellmann said in a statement.

The company said the severe winter results in disruptions reducing diluted earnings per share by 23 to 26 cents. Revenues were reduced due to weather $15 million to $20 million, the company estimated.

G&W’s Canada, Midwest, Northeast and Ohio Valley regions were most affected by weather and congestion at connecting railroads, Hellmann added.

“As a result, rail shipments were reduced and traffic was also diverted to truck,” he said.

G&W’s traffic in the first quarter increased nearly 4 percent to 467,379 carloads, primarily due to increases in coal and coke traffic.

The company expects growth in pre-tax income in 2014 of 15 percent, with expected growth in pre-tax income of more than 20 percent over the next nine months. Hellman noted the company has seen a sharp increase in traffic levels with the arrival of spring.

Connecticut-based G&W, which has its administrative base in Rochester, owns and operates short-line and regional freight railroads in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Australia.

Shares of company stock (NYSE: GWR) were down more than 3 percent to $95.61 in midafternoon trading.

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