Rail Carriers Make Huge Profits

August 10, 2011: The second quarter brought good news again for the US's four major public rail carriers, while Old Dominion again flew high among less-than-truckload carriers in a quarter that all improved their results if not exactly deliver outstanding results in some cases.

As shown in the chart below, all four public rail carriers (Burlington Northern was acquired by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway in 2009) enjoyed strong results, and continued to enjoy relatively strong pricing power. Despite car load growth of just about 3% for three of the four (the smallest of the four, Kansas City Southern, saw volume growth of 7%), revenues were up 13.3-17.9% for all four of them.

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