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Canadian Pacific Reports Record-Low Operating Ratio


Despite relatively flat net profits, Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) reached a record-low quarterly operating ratio (OR) of 56.1% and earned record revenue in the third quarter, the company said on October 23. 

Third-quarter net income totaled C$618 million, a 0.6% drop from the C$622 million in net income for the third quarter of 2018. (A Canadian dollar equates to US$0.76.)

Third-quarter diluted earnings per share were C$4.46 versus C$4.35/diluted share for the same period of 2018.

Record third-quarter revenue of C$1.98 billion helped the railway achieve a record-low quarterly OR despite the lower rail volumes and the economic headwinds reported by the overall rail industry. Revenue in the third quarter of 2018 was C$1.9 billion.

Third-quarter operating expenses were flat, at C$1.1 billion.

Meanwhile, CP's OR was a record low 56.1%, compared with an OR of 58.3% in the third quarter of 2018 and an OR of 56.5% in the second quarter of this year.

"After a record second quarter that included strong operating metrics including train speed and terminal dwell, we continue to see those performance measures be improved upon," said Keith Creel, CP chief executive officer. "Our disciplined approach to precision scheduled railroading and the commitment of our 13,000-strong CP family puts us in a position to control what we can as we navigate softer volumes, macroeconomic challenges and geopolitical tensions into the fourth quarter."

Performance metrics improved year-over-year, with terminal dwell down 16% to 5.8 hours and average train speed up 5% to 22.7 miles per hour.

CP executives held an earnings call on the railway's financial results after the market closed on October 23.

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