Weather still hurts CP Rail

By SCOTT DEVEAU,  Financial Post October 26, 2011 4:09 AM
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said Tuesday its earnings slipped in the third quarter as the railroad continues to struggle in the aftermath of several weatherrelated incidents earlier in the year.

Canada's second-largest railway said it earned $186.8 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, during the quarter, down five per cent compared with the $197 million, or $1.17 a share, it earned for the same period last year. Expectations had been for earnings of $1.11 a share.

"We currently see strength in our bulk franchise, but remain vigilant in monitoring economic signals from Asia," CP CEO Fred Green said in a statement.

CP said its sales improved by $55 million, or four per cent, year over year to $1.3-billion during the quarter, despite a 2.5-per-cent drop in carloads for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, 2011.

In particular, the railway's intermodal volumes continue to suffer with carloads down 10 per cent year over year.

CP has said its weak intermodal volumes are, in part, a result of lost business to its rivals, including Canadian National Railway Co., after its suffered from operational issues earlier in the year due to massive floods, avalanches, and other weather related incidents. Green has said he is committed to winning that business back.

@Montreal Gazzette