April 24, 2019 / 1:30 PM / 3 months ago

Norfolk Southern's quarterly profit jumps, shares up

April 24 (Reuters) - Norfolk Southern Corp reported higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by price increases and cost cutting, sending shares up 2.2 percent in premarket trading.

The fourth-largest U.S. railroad's first-quarter profit increased 22.6 percent to $677 million, or $2.51 per share. That topped analysts' average forecast of $2.18, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Operating revenue was up 4.5 percent to more than $2.8 billion, while continued workforce reductions helped drive expenses down 0.4 percent.

Operating expenses as a percentage of revenue fell 330 basis points to 66 percent. A lower operating ratio means more efficiency and higher profitability.

Shares rose $4.33 to $206 in premarket trading. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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