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Oct 17 (Reuters) - Railroad operator Kansas City Southern's reported a higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as it shipped more grains and automobiles.
Shares of the company were up about 4.4 percent at $121.5 in premarket trading on Friday.
Revenue from automotive shipments rose 28 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Revenue from grain shipment increased more than 21 percent.
U.S. auto sales were the best in eight years in the third quarter, and rose 9 percent in September to 1.24 million vehicles. (reut.rs/1vE1WA1)
The United States has also seen a bumper corn crop this year. Last week the U.S. Agriculture Department raised its outlook for corn by 80 million bushels to a record 14.475 billion bushels for 2014, up about 4 percent from 2013. (1.usa.gov/J2ds1P)
Kansas City Southern operates on a unique, north-south route in central United States and derives half of its annual revenue from cross-border business with Mexico.
Exports from the United States to Mexico rose about 7 percent in the first eight months of 2014, while imports increased about 4 percent, according to latest data. (1.usa.gov/1lb5FeA)
Kansas City's industrial and consumer products shipments rose 13 percent, while intermodal shipments increased 11 percent during the quarter.
The company recorded a 4 percent drop in revenue from energy shipments, hurt by a decline in utility coal and frac sand shipments.
Net income available to common stockholders jumped to $138 million, or $1.25 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $118.3 million, or $1.07 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.29 per share.
Total revenue rose 9 percent to $677.5 million.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.26 per share on revenue of $671.77 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Up to Thursday's close, the company's shares had dropped 6 percent in the past year, lagging a 17.19 percent rise in the S&P 500 Railroads index. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)