July 19, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kansas City Southern profit rises, helped by cost cutting

(Adds details of results, background, stock price)

By Nick Carey

CHICAGO, July 19 (Reuters) - U.S regional railroad Kansas City Southern on Tuesday reported a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit, helped by cost cutting, but its freight volumes were flat and revenue fell more than analysts had forecast.

The company saw little change in volumes during the quarter versus the same period in 2015, with a sharp increase in petroleum and food products helping to offset declines in most product categories.

Unlike the other major U.S. railroads, which have seen precipitous declines in coal volumes as utilities switch to burning cheaper natural gas, Kansas City Southern’s utility coal volumes were down only 1 percent on the year.

The company said that its freight volumes were up 2 percent in June versus the same month last year.

Kansas City Southern reported a 13 percent decrease in operating expenses to $348.6 million from $399 million.

This came despite the impact of flooding in the Houston area, which shut down a bridge the railroad uses for cross-border traffic for three weeks.

The Kansas City, Missouri-based company reported second-quarter net income of $120.1 million or $1.11 per share, up 10 percent from $111.8 million or $1.01 per share a year earlier.

Results included a $34 million Mexican fuel excise tax credit for the quarter.

Analysts had on average expected earnings per share for the quarter of $1.03.

Revenue for the quarter fell 3 percent to $568.5 million from $585.8 million a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $573 million.

In pre-market trading, Kansas City Southern shares slipped 0.6 percent to $95. (Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Hodgson)

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