Genesee & Wyoming CEO says Q3 results 'strong'
Jack Hellmann, Chairman, President and CEO of G&W, commented, "Our financial results for the third quarter of 2018 were strong, with reported diluted earnings per share increasing 45% and adjusted diluted earnings per share increasing 52%. Our North American financial results (approximately 80% of operating income) were uniformly positive led by 11.5% revenue growth, an operating ratio that improved around 300 basis points to 71.2%, and a 25% increase in operating income. Meanwhile, third quarter results in our Australia Region (approximately 15% of operating income) and U.K./Europe Region (approximately 5% of operating income) were slightly below our expectations. Our commercial outlook remains positive in all three of our geographic segments, however, we expect our fourth quarter financial results to be adversely impacted by three items. In North America, Hurricane Michael struck our Bay Line Railroad and customer facilities in Panama City, Florida in October, which will result in higher expenses and lower shipment levels. In Australia, we expect delays in certain coal shipments in New South Wales that will shift into early 2019. And in the U.K., where our restructuring is proceeding on plan, our ability to staff new and existing business is being constrained by near-term locomotive driver shortages, which will squeeze fourth quarter margins as we further ramp up training and hiring. We continue to actively analyze investment opportunities in multiple geographies, as well as investments in our own shares. In mid-October, we completed our previously announced $300 million share repurchase program, and our Board recently approved a share repurchase program for an additional $500 million of Common Stock. We expect to execute this program opportunistically, as we evaluate the intrinsic value of our shares, the relative attractiveness of acquisitions and investments, as well as our leverage profile and overall business conditions."