January 20, 2017 / 1:43 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Kansas City Southern blames lower profit on weak Mexican peso

(Adds details of results, background)

By Nick Carey

CHICAGO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Regional U.S. railroad Kansas City Southern on Friday reported a lower quarterly net profit that it said was caused by weakening of the Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar that affected its operations in Mexico.

The company also alluded to criticism from President-elect Donald Trump of mostly U.S. companies that manufacture goods in Mexico for shipment to the United States - he has singled out automakers for particular criticism, threatening tariffs or a “border tax” on the vehicles they make.

One of Kansas City Southern’s selling points to investors has been its extensive network in Mexico and when Ford Motor Co announced earlier this month that it was abandoning plans for a plant there and would invest in Michigan instead, the railroad’s shares fell 4 percent.

“Looking ahead to 2017, the Company is aware of both economic and political uncertainty,” chief executive Patrick Ottensmeyer said in a statement. “However, we continue to emphasize our commitment to growth and we are well positioned to take full advantage of the significant new business opportunities that lie ahead of us.”

The Kansas City-based company reported fourth-quarter net income of $120.1 million or $1.12 per share, down from $133.4 million or $1.23 per share a year earlier. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $1.17.

The railroad’s revenue was flat at $598.5 million versus $598 million a year earlier. (Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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