CN reinstates full-year financial outlook for 2021 as freight demand improves

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MONTREAL — CN says it will reinstate its guidance for 2021 and increase the company's dividend by seven per cent after seeing improved demand for freight in the last three months of 2020.

The Montreal-based railway says its net income surged 17 per cent in the fourth quarter to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share.

That was up from $873 million or $1.22 per share in the prior year.

Adjusted profits for the three months ended Dec. 31 were up 14 per cent to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share, from $896 million or $1.25 per share in last year's quarter.

Revenue increased two per cent, or $72 million, to $3.66 billion.

CN Rail was expected to report $1.41 per share in adjusted profits on $3.62 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

CN reported operating income of $1.4 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.

JJ Ruest, CN's president and CEO, says that while the recovery was uneven across sectors, the company was pleased with the growth in volume demand during the fourth quarter.

CN also said it planned to announce $3 billion in capital investments to stay ahead of demand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNR)

The Canadian Press