By Ben Glickman

Canadian National Railway's profit rose despite still-weak freight volumes in the fourth quarter.

The Montreal-based rail operator posted a profit of 2.13 billion Canadian dollars ($1.58 billion), or C$3.29 a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with C$1.42 billion, or C$2.10 a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet expected per-share earnings of C$1.97.

Stripping out certain one-time items, adjusted per-share earnings came to C$2.02, ahead of the C$1.99 forecast by analysts, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 2% to C$4.47 billion, beating the C$4.37 billion expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

The company said the lower revenue was caused by lower volumes in intermodal and grain. CN's top line was also dented by lower fuel prices, which brought down container storage fees and fuel surcharge revenue.

In 2024, Canadian National Railway expects adjusted earnings per share to grow about 10% and to invest about C$3.5 billion in its capital program, net of amounts reimbursed by customers.

Write to Ben Glickman at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

01-23-24 1639ET