Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) today reported third-quarter net income of $69.6 million, or $1.16 per diluted common share, compared with net income of $50.2 million, or 80 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.
Also in the quarter, operating revenue rose 4.6 percent to $603.3 million; operating income jumped 16.4 percent to $127.8 million; and adjusted operating income climbed 14.3 percent to $130.5 million compared with last year's third-quarter financial results, according to a G&W press release. Adjusted diluted earnings per share rose 51.9 percent to $1.23.
G&W Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Hellmann described the quarter's results as "strong."
"Our North American financial results (approximately 80 percent of operating income) were uniformly positive led by 11.5 percent revenue growth, an operating ratio that improved around 300 basis points to 71.2 percent and a 25 percent increase in operating income," he said. "Meanwhile, third-quarter results in our Australia Region (approximately 15 percent of operating income) and U.K./Europe Region (approximately 5 percent of operating income) were slightly below our expectations."
G&W's commercial outlook remains "positive" in all three geographic segments, Hellmann said, but added that fourth-quarter results will be adversely affected by three issues:
• In North America, Hurricane Michael struck the Bay Line Railroad and customer facilities in Panama City, Florida, in October, which will result in higher expenses and lower shipment levels;
• In Australia, the company expects delays in certain coal shipments in New South Wales that will shift into early 2019; and
• In the U.K., where the company's restructuring is proceeding on plan, the ability to staff new and existing business is being constrained by near-term locomotive driver shortages, which will squeeze fourth-quarter margins as training and hiring are ramped up.
"We continue to actively analyze investment opportunities in multiple geographies, as well as investments in our own shares," Hellmann said.
In mid-October, G&W completed a previously announced $300 million share repurchase program, and the board recently approved a share repurchase program for an additional $500 million of common stock.
"We expect to execute this program opportunistically, as we evaluate the intrinsic value of our shares, the relative attractiveness of acquisitions and investments, as well as our leverage profile and overall business conditions," said Hellmann.