Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) is achieving key financial targets, improving operating efficiencies, and advancing sustainable growth – all part of the railroad’s good story, CEO James A. Squires said today in remarks to the annual meeting of shareholders.
“Our business is about movement, and I can tell you that we are moving forward,” Squires said. “The Norfolk Southern team’s continued success in executing our plan is driving long-term value, and that’s a good story for our shareholders.”
Norfolk Southern in 2017 delivered record results on several key financial measures, including all-time best earnings per share and operating ratio. The company also achieved productivity savings of $150 million, driven by efficiencies that included record locomotive fuel economy.
The strong results came despite a series of hurricanes and winter storms that disrupted rail operations across the industry, Squires said. Acknowledging that the railroad will never be immune to severe weather, Squires said the company is “fully engaged in efforts to ensure that we can provide stable, resilient service over the long-term. Our commitment to operational excellence is unwavering.”
Squires noted that Norfolk Southern is expanding its use of digital and remote-sensing technologies to enhance operating efficiencies and customer service.
“While Norfolk Southern remains steel wheels on steel rails, we are moving ahead with 21st century technologies that improve our competitive edge,” Squires said. “With them, we are helping customers better manage supply chains in this demanding era of e-commerce, and we are improving the way we monitor and manage things, from locomotive performance to rail wear.”
The railroad, Squires said, continued its strong financial performance in the first three months of 2018, with year-over-year growth in shipment volumes and revenue and first-quarter records in net income, earnings per share, and operating ratio. Favorable economic conditions and market trends point to continued business growth this year – and Norfolk Southern is in an excellent position to grow, Squires said.
“Our network reaches two-thirds of the U.S. population, and the East Coast markets we serve offer a wealth of opportunities to convert freight from highway to rail,” Squires said. “We are supporting our customers’ growth and investing strategically for the future … As we look at the year ahead and longer-term, we are optimistic about the opportunities in front of us.”
Squires’ remarks are posted on the “Invest in NS” section of the Norfolk Southern website under “Presentations.”
In official business, based on preliminary results, shareholders re-elected 12 directors for terms expiring in 2019:
- Thomas D. Bell Jr., chairman of Mesa Capital Partners LLC
- Wesley G. Bush, chairman and chief executive officer of Northrop Grumman Corporation
- Daniel A. Carp, former chairman and chief executive officer of Eastman Kodak Company
- Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., president of Purdue University
- Marcela E. Donadio, former partner and Americas Oil & Gas Sector Leader of Ernst & Young LLP
- Steven F. Leer, former chief executive officer and chairman of Arch Coal Inc.
- Michael D. Lockhart, former chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Armstrong World Industries Inc.
- Amy E. Miles, former chair and chief executive officer of Regal Entertainment Group Inc.
- Martin H. Nesbitt, co-founder of The Vistria Group
- Jennifer F. Scanlon, president and chief executive officer of USG Corporation
- James A. Squires, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Norfolk Southern
- John R. Thompson, former senior vice president and general manager of BestBuy.com LLC
In other preliminary results, shareholders ratified appointment of KPMG LLP as independent auditors; approved an advisory resolution on the compensation of executive officers; and did not approve a shareholder proposal regarding the right to act by written consent.
About Norfolk Southern
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.
Tom Werner, 757-629-2710 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Clay Moore, 757-629-2861 (email@example.com)
This news release contains forward-looking statements that may be identified by the use of words like “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “consider,” “project,” and similar references to the future. Forward-looking statements reflect our good-faith evaluation of information currently available. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and our actual results may differ materially from those projected. Please refer to our annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC for a full discussion of those risks and uncertainties we view as most important. Forward-looking statements are not, and should not be relied upon as, a guarantee of future performance or results, nor will they necessarily prove to be accurate indications of the times at or by which any such performance or results will be achieved. As a result, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.