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Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC): Q4 2019 Earnings Snapshot

— Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) reported its fourth-quarter 2019 earnings of $2.55 per share versus $2.28 per share expected.

— Railway operating revenue declined by 7% to $2.7 billion versus $2.7 billion expected. The decline was primarily due to a 9% drop in total volume.

— Railway operating expenses decreased by $90 million as lower compensation and benefits, fuel costs, equipment rents, and materials usage were partially offset by lower gains on operating property sales and increased purchased services expense.

— During the year 2019, the company experienced macroeconomic headwinds but results remained strong as the team expeditiously implemented productivity initiatives throughout the year.

— Looking ahead into the full year 2020, the company expects a flat revenue as the persistent headwinds in the Coal segment will offset the improved comparisons in Merchandise and Intermodal as the year progresses.

— The operating ratio is predicted to be greater than 235 basis points improvement in 2020 and is committed to 60% by 2021.

— Capital expenditures are anticipated to be 16-18% of revenue in 2020.

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