Railroad News

Reflections on Norfolk Southern’s 2019 Investor Day: Analysis by Tony Hatch

Tony Hatch is an independent transportation analyst and consultant, and a program consultant for Progressive Railroading’s RailTrends® conference.

On Feb. 11 and after an almost 5-year absence, Norfolk Southern hosted an investor conference in its soon-to-be headquarters city of Atlanta, and NS management gave us what the audience and I were seeking: 

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Norfolk Southern to aim for 60 operating ratio by 2021

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 2/11/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image The Class I's financial targets include a full-year OR improvement in 2019 of at least 100 basis points from the 2018 OR of 65.4 percent.Photo – nscorp.com

Norfolk Southern Corp. officials today will provide details of the Class I’s latest strategic plan, which includes targeting an operating ratio (OR) of 60 percent by 2021.

The details — which will be revealed at the railroad’s Investor and Financial Analyst Conference being held today in Atlanta — will cover ways to increase productivity, efficiency and growth.

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NS: New records for Q4 operating income, full-year operating ratio

Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday reported record fourth-quarter income from operations of $1.1 billion, up 27 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2017 and up 9 percent on an adjusted basis.

Net income shot up 44 percent to $702 million, earnings per share jumped 52 percent to $2.57, revenue rose 9 percent to $2.9 billion, volume increased 3 percent to 1.98 million units, railway operating expenses climbed 9 percent to $1.8 billion and the operating ratio improved 5.5 points to 62.8.

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NS appoints Cox to succeed Kesler as VP-taxation

Norfolk Southern Corp. has named Michael Cox vice president of taxation, effective March 1. He will succeed Robert Kesler, who is retiring.

Cox has held positions of increasing responsibility since he joined NS as assistant tax counsel in 2000. Prior to joining the company, he spent more than a decade in private industry and with the federal government, including serving as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's tax division.

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NS fills board seat with Morgan Stanley's Kelleher

Rail News Home Norfolk Southern Railway 1/23/2019 Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway
image Thomas KelleherPhoto – NS

Norfolk Southern Corp. has elected Thomas Kelleher as a board member, effective yesterday. He will serve as an independent director and join the board's finance and risk management committee.

Kelleher, 61, is president of global financial services and investment management firm Morgan Stanley. He also is chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley Bank N.A. Kelleher is responsible for Morgan Stanley's institutional securities business and wealth management.

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