CP’s third-quarter grain handle down

“Volume momentum” in its third quarter has Canadian Pacific Railway looking forward to a rosier year-end ledger, though its grain traffic for the quarter dragged on that momentum.

Calgary-based CP on Tuesday reported net income of $510 million on $1.595 billion in revenues for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, up from $347 million on $1.51 billion in the year-earlier Q3.

“Volume momentum grew over the course of the quarter, setting us up for a strong finish to the year,” CP CEO Keith Creel said in a release. “As a result, we are raising our 2017 guidance.”

CP said it now expects its adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) for 2017 to grow in the double digits from its full-year 2016 adjusted diluted EPS of $10.29.

Third-quarter carloads were up most significantly in the railway’s metals, minerals and consumer products segment, potash segment and energy, chemicals and plastics segment, but slipped in the automotive, grain, fertilizer and intermodal segments.

CP handled about 108,000 carloads of grains in its third quarter, down from 113,600 in the year-earlier period, for revenue per carload of $3,251, down slightly from $3,272.

Carloads of fertilizers and sulphur were also down three per cent for the quarter, at 13,800, for revenue per carload of $3,814, down 15 per cent.

Potash carloads were up 19 per cent at 34,600, for revenue per carload of $2,978, up seven per cent.

CP said its updated guidance is due to “strong year-to-date performance and a constructive volume outlook through the remainder of the year,” and noted it plans to invest about $1.25 billion in capital programs in 2017, up six per cent from 2016. — AGCanada.com Network

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