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Canadian National Railway Q1 Earnings Rise, Top Estimate

Canadian National Railway Co. (CNI, CNR.TO) reported net income for the first quarter of C$775 million or C$1.75 per share, compared to C$668 million or C$1.45 per share for the year-ago quarter.

The latest quarter results include an after-tax gain of C$252 million or C$0.57 per share, while the year-ago quarter results included an after-tax gain of C$254 million or C$0.55 per share, from the sale of rail line segments in the Toronto area to a public transit agency.

Excluding the gain on the sale of the rail line segments, adjusted earnings per share for first quarter 2012 was C$1.18, up from C$0.90 for the same period of 2011.

Revenues for the first quarter increased 13% to C$2.35 billion from C$2.08 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn C$1.03 per share on revenue of C$2.28 billion for the first quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Under its revised 2012 outlook, the company is aiming to deliver a full 10% growth in EPS, on an adjusted basis, over EPS of C$4.84 in 2011 despite significant headwinds from additional pension expense of about C$100 million versus 2011. This compares with CN's prior 2012 EPS growth forecast of up to 10%, including headwinds from additional pension expense of about C$120 million.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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