CP Rail beats earnings forecasts as Q4 profit up 21 per cent despite softer revenues

·2 min read

CALGARY — Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. capped 2020 with its net profit surging nearly 21 per cent in the fourth quarter despite softer revenues.

The Calgary-based railway says it earned $802 million or $5.95 per diluted share, up from $664 million or $4.82 per share in the prior year.

Adjusted profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $683 million, up four per cent from $656 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.

That equalled $5.06 per share, a six per cent increase from $4.77 per share in the prior year quarter.

Revenues slipped three per cent to $2.01 billion from $2.07 billion.

CP Rail was expected to earn $5.02 in adjusted profits on $2.07 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The results revealed after stock markets closed follow its decision to seek shareholder and regulatory approval for a five-for-one split of its common shares.

Keith Creel, CP's president and CEO, says the railway believes the share split will encourage greater liquidity for CP's shares by making them available to a wider group of investors.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the proposed split on April 21.

If approved, shareholders will be entitled to four additional shares for each share held, on a date that is still to be determined.

CP's shares lost $10.90 or 2.5 per cent to $423.17 in Wednesday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The Calgary-based railway also says the TSX has accepted its notice to buy back up to 2.5 per cent of its outstanding common shares over the coming year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CP)

The Canadian Press