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Kansas City Southern (KSU - Analyst Report) reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 89 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 cents per share. Adjusted earnings increased 11% from 80 cents in the year-ago quarter, driven by higher freight rates.

Adjusted earnings for the first quarter excluded the impact of 5 cents per share of unfavorable special items related to income tax, adjustment for debt retirement costs and foreign exchange.

Quarterly revenues were $552.8 million, up 1.0% year over year but below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $576.0 million. The year-over-year increase was primarily attributed to 2% growth in carloads.

In the first quarter, operating income was $162.9 million, up 3% year over year. This resulted in an operating ratio of 70.5%, down 70 basis points year over year.

Segment Wise Quarterly Results

Chemical & Petroleum segment contributed $102.4 million in revenues, up 0.5% year over year. Volume was 59,500, down 3% year over year. Revenue per unit came in at $1,721, up 4% year over year.

Industrial & Consumer Products generated revenues of $144.2 million, up 4% year over year. Business volume was 85,300, up 0.24% year over year. Revenue per carload was $1,691, up 4% year over year.

Agriculture & Minerals segment revenues were $81.0 million, down 28% year over year. Business volume was 46,400, down 24% year over year. Revenue per carload was $1,746, down 5% year over year.

Energy generated $76.3 million in revenues, up 7% year over year. Business volume was 71,000, up 2% year over year. Revenue per carload was $1,075, up 5% year over year.

Intermodal segment revenues were $79.8 million, up 17% year over year. Business volume was 227,100, up 9% year over year. Revenue per carload was $351, up 7% year over year.

Automotive segment accounted for $49.1 million revenues, up 31% year over year. Business volume was 27,100, up 18% year over year. Revenue per carload was $1,812, up 11% year over year.

Quarterly, Other revenues were $20.0 million, up 8% year over year.

Liquidity Position

The company exited first-quarter 2013 with cash and cash equivalents of $63.7 million compared with $72.6 million at the end of 2012. Long-term debt at the end of first-quarter 2013 decreased to $1,431.1 million from $1,547.6 million at the end of 2012.

The company had free cash flows of $2.8 million at the end of first-quarter 2013 compared with $38.3 million in the year ago quarter.  Capital expenditure for the quarter amounted to $112.7 million compared with $99.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Currently, KSU carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Upcoming Earning Releases

Other companies belonging to the Railroad Industry that are set to release financial results areCanadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP - Analyst Report), Canadian National Railway Company (CNI - Analyst Report) and Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC - Analyst Report). Canadian Pacific, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), will release its earnings on Apr 24. Canadian National and Norfolk Southern, which carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), will report on Apr 22 and 23, respectively.

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