CP Rail profits rise 15%

CP Rail Q3 profits rise 15% on record revenue

Third-quarter profit at CP Rail grew 15 per cent on record revenue, the railway said Tuesday.

CPR (TSX:CP) said it made $204 million ($1.27 a share) in Q3, compared to $177 million ($1.11 a share) in the same quarter a year ago.

The earnings figure handily beat the 88-cent-a-share consensus estimate of nine analysts polled by Thomson One Analytics.

Revenue climbed 11 per cent to $1.1 billion – a record for the third quarter – as four of CPR's business lines posted double-digit growth. Coal shipping revenues rose 35 per cent; intermodal revenues climbed 13 per cent.

Revenue per carload grew 12 per cent.

"CPR is confident in our full-year projections going into the home stretch of 2005," CPR chief executive Rob Ritchie said in a release. "Market conditions are solid and demand remains strong," he said.

The railway said revenue for the full year is expected to increase by 12 to 14 per cent.

It also pegged 2005 earnings per share, excluding foreign exchange gains and losses on long-term debt and other items, at $3.15 to $3.25. That assumes an average crude oil price of $55 US a barrel and an average exchange rate of $1.23 per U.S. dollar.

CP Rail shares finished off $1.75 at $47.75 on the TSX.