Railroad conglomerate Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (BNSF) watched its second-quarter earnings slip to 50 cents per diluted share, compared with second-quarter 2000 earnings of 53 cnets per diluted share, even as freight revenues climbed 2% to $2.24 billion for the quarter. Its operating income was $428 million for the quarter compared with $483 million the same quarter last year, BNSF said.
BNSF said its agricultural-shipping revenues increased $13 million in the second quarter, or 5%, to $278 million, primarily due to an increased demand for corn, milk and meal, partially offset by a decline in wheat exports. Coal revenues increased $7 million, or 1%, to $532 million, on 8% higher volume as a result of increased demand for electricity, tight Eastern coal supplies and high natural gas prices.
Industrial products revenues fell $7 million or 1%, to $587 million because of continued production cutbacks affecting most sectors. Consumer products revenues decreased $9 million, or 1%, to $844 million reflecting decreases in automotive and domestic intermodal shipments resulting from the current economic slowdown, offset by double-digit growth in the truckload business and increased international revenue, BNSF said. Operating expenses of $1.84 billion in the second quarter of 2001 were $65 million higher than the 2000 second quarter. Fuel expense was $27 million higher than 2000 as the average cost of diesel fuel per gallon increased 7 cents. Expenses other than fuel were higher primarily due to flooding conditions in the upper Midwest, higher wages and increased health and welfare costs, BNSF said.