Norfolk Southern Earnings: Full Steam Ahead!

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) reported its results for the first quarter. Norfolk Southern Corp. is engaged in rail transportation of raw materials, intermediate products, and finished goods.

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Norfolk Southern Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for the railroad company rose to $325 million (90 cents/share) vs. $257 million (68 cents/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A rise of 26.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 17.1% to $2.62 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: NSC fell right in step with the street’s estimates of 90 cents/share.

Quoting Management: “Norfolk Southern delivered an excellent financial performance during the quarter, reflecting the strong market for freight rail transportation and the value of our service product,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “We see continuing opportunities for growth in almost every segment of our business, and we’re optimistic about our prospects for the balance of 2011.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 19.1%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 30.9% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 30.9% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 46.9%.

Competitors to Watch: CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNI), Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. (NASDAQ:PWX), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP), Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR), Pioneer Railcorp (PRRR), and RailAmerica, Inc. (NYSE:RA).

Today’s Performance: Shares of NSC are up over 3% in after hours trading.

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