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Kansas City Southern 1Q net income up 38 pct

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kansas City Southern said Friday that its first-quarter net income jumped 38 percent, helped by a steep jump in automotive industry demand and flat operating expenses.

After the payment of preferred dividends, the railroad earned $103.7 million, or 94 cents per share, up from $74.9 million, or 68 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, the company posted an adjusted profit of 89 cents per share.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $552.8 million from $547.5 million, while total operating expenses were relatively flat at $389.9 million.

The profit beat Wall Street predictions, while revenue fell short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 87 cents per share on $572.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Carload volumes increased 2 percent. The recent quarter's results got a boost from a 31 percent jump in automotive revenue to $49.1 million and a 17 percent increase in intermodal revenue to $79.8 million.

But those gains were offset by a 28 percent drop in agriculture and minerals revenue to $81 million. The company said the drop mainly stemmed from lower grain volumes related to Midwest drought during 2012.

Kansas City Southern shares rose $1.72 to $105.09 in morning trading.