Norfolk Southern Corporation’s ( NSC Quick Quote NSC - Free Report) second-quarter 2021 earnings of $3.28 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.94. Moreover, the bottom line skyrocketed more than 100% year over year on higher revenues. Railway operating revenues in the quarter under review came in at $2,799 million, outperforming the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,751.3 million. The top line increased 34% year over year owing to 25% rise in volumes and a 7% increase in revenue per unit. Second-quarter results reflect significant recovery from the year-ago period when coronavirus-led woes dented volumes. Income from railway operations surged 91% year over year to $1,167 million. Railway operating expenses increased 11% on a year-over-year basis to $1,632 million, mainly due to significant rise in fuel costs. Norfolk Southern’s operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues), on a reported basis, improved to 58.3% in the second quarter from 70.7% in the year-ago quarter. With respect to this metric, lower the value, the better. Segmental Performance
Coal revenues totaled $318 million, up 52% year over year. Coal volumes rose 55%. However, revenue per unit dipped 1% in the reported quarter.
Merchandise revenues jumped 29% year over year to $1,680 million. Volumes also increased 29% while revenue per unit was flat year over year. Intermodal revenues augmented 41% year over year to $801 million. While segmental volumes rose 20%, revenue per unit ascended 17%. Liquidity & Share Buyback
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company exited the second quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,670 million compared with $1,115 million at the end of 2020. The company had long-term debt of $12,669 million at the end of the reported quarter compared with $12,102 million at December 2020-end.
During the first half of 2021, the company repurchased and retired 5.7 million and 3.9 million shares for $1.5 billion and $669 million, respectively. Sectorial Snapshot
Let’s take a look at some of the other recently released earnings reports from companies within the Zacks
Transportation sector. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings ( KNX Quick Quote KNX - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported second-quarter 2021 earnings (excluding 6 cents from non-recurring items) of 98 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 87 cents. Total revenues of $1,315.7 million also outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,300.8 million. You can see . the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here United Parcel Service ( UPS Quick Quote UPS - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #3, reported second-quarter 2021 earnings (excluding a penny from non-recurring items) of $3.06 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.75. Quarterly revenues of $23,424 million also outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $23,085.4 million. Ryanair Holdings ( RYAAY Quick Quote RYAAY - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), incurred a loss of $1.46 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended Jun 30, 2021), narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.50. Quarterly revenues of $446.4 million fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $459 million.