Canadian Pacific reported first-quarter 2019 revenue of CA$1.77 billion grew by 6 percent and earnings rose about 3 percent during what company officials described as the one of the most challenging winters for the railroad in decades.
CP posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of CA$3.09 (up 28 percent) and adjusted diluted EPS of CA$2.79 (up 3 percent). Operating income climbed 1 percent to CA$543 million, while net income rose 25 percent to CA$434 million versus the same period in 2018.
The Class I's operating ratio increased 180 basis points during the quarter to 69.3 percent versus 67.5 percent a year ago. Operating expenses rose 9 percent to CA$1.22 billion.
The quarter included one of the most challenging winters in his railroading career, said President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel in a press release. In addition to record cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls, the railroad in February dealt with a derailment in British Columbia's Rocky Mountains that resulted in the deaths of three crew members.
"I applaud our employees for their resiliency in overcoming loss and pushing through extraordinary conditions and challenges throughout February and March," Creel said. "Our commitment to precision scheduled railroading enabled a strong recovery, and gives us a solid foundation moving forward."
Despite the harsh winter conditions and a number of service outages that challenged the railroad during the quarter, the network is recovering quickly and momentum is building, with operating metrics and volume trends improving significantly, CP officials said.
"As we look forward, we remain confident in our ability to deliver record financial and operating results in 2019," said Creel.
For the remainder of the year, the Class I expects to increase volumes, as measured in revenue ton miles, in the mid-single digits and generate double-digit adjusted diluted EPS growth.