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Canadian Railroads > CN Q2 2020 Earnings - not pretty

Date: 07/22/20 02:25
CN Q2 2020 Earnings - not pretty
Author: JPB

Excerpts selected from the analyst conference call of July 21:
- Sharp drop in volume of 18% in revenue ton miles
- Q2 Revenues were down 19% and Net Income [before loss on line sale adjustments] decreased 60% versus Q2 2019
- Adjusted operating ratio is 60.4%, up 290 basis points versus last year. Note: unadjusted Q2 2020 OR was 75.5% v. 57.5% for Q2 2019]
- Adjusted net income was $908 million or $342 million lower than last year
- Adjusted diluted EPS of $1.28, down 26% versus last year.
- Recorded a non-cash charge of $486 million in the quarter, resulting from the decision to market for sale [to shortlines] about 850 miles of non-core lines for ongoing rail operations ([n Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario].
- Business on Rupert right now is very strong [may set intermodal record in July and some capacity enhancement projects are continuing] - have been recalling some crews selectively. 
- Permanently Idled four locomotive shops, as well as four additional switching yards
- Laid up one out of every three locomotives,
- Over 20,000 railcars were stored while active online car inventory was down 20%
- Approximately 4,000 employees were furloughed this year.
- Acquiring 1,500 additional high-capacity hopper cars for 2021, enabling shipment of up to 20% more wheat and 40% more canola, using the same train resources
- In June, 60% more containerized grain was moved versus Q2 of last year - the success of the grain container terminal in Regina has been a great addition to the network.
- CSX steel wheel interchanges from the ports of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia [via Massena presumably] sequentially grew in Q2 [note that no reference to CN's purchase of the CSX Massena line was made - deal is rumored to be dead?]
- See attached CN presentation slide - note that in Q2 2020 avg train length jumped ~1,000 feet to 9,500 feet and avg train weight jumped ~1,000 tons to almost 10,500 tons

JJ Ruest's closing presentation words (prior to analyst Q&A):
"Our operations are fluid, volume is sequentially slowly improving, and we are carefully recalling some train crews and about to resume some training for the 2021 demand. As we look ahead, we remain bullish, and we also have a culture of resiliency. This quarter should give you no doubt that we are ready for anything. Whether or not the world goes back to normal in six months or we have a prolonged pandemic, we have the team to get this done."

1. Which CN shops and yards have been recently idled?
2. Any thoughts as to what Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario non-core lines might be auctioned off? Trains Magazine on-line reports that most of the lines to be unloaded are light density Wisconsin Central lines.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/20 03:58 by JPB.

Date: 07/22/20 07:45
Re: CN Q2 2020 Earnings - not pretty
Author: inCHI

I see two CN train pairs with regularity. M337/338, and L536/537. They are almost always 150-160 cars of mixed freight, unless traffic is lighter. Sometimes L536/537, which is a transfer between Chicago yards, is 170-200 cars. I also recently saw a double emtpy DDG train that had about 200 empty DDG cars with a DPU in the middile, which was new to me. CN's unit trains through here (Chicago) of grain and ethanol still are often single trainsets of about 100 cars.

Date: 07/22/20 08:25
Re: CN Q2 2020 Earnings - not pretty
Author: WP17

And yet CNI stock is up almost 2% this morning, and is at a 52 week high.
Go figure


Date: 07/22/20 11:03
Re: CN Q2 2020 Earnings - not pretty
Author: Lackawanna484

WP17 Wrote:
> And yet CNI stock is up almost 2% this morning,
> and is at a 52 week high.
> Go figure
> WP17
Sometimes, if analysts have expected worse news or guidance, the actual results may generate a relief rally.

You may see that in cases where a stock is heavily shorted in expectation of awful news. And the need isn't that bad. People rush to cover their short positions, driving up prices.

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