Burlington Northern Profit Falls on Cleanup Charge

By Beacon Staff

NEW YORK – Railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe says its second-quarter earnings fell 19 percent, mostly due to one-time charges related to an environmental cleanup in Montana.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe earned $350 million, or $1 per share, compared with $433 million, or $1.20 per share, in the same quarter of 2007.

The 2008 period included charges of 31 cents per share, or $175 million in cleanup costs in Montana, and 3 cents per share resulting from a fatal grade crossing accident.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $4.48 billion.

Analysts expected a profit of $1.30 per share on revenue of $4.43 billion.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Burlington Northern said it was also hurt by the weak U.S. economy, high fuel prices and “significant damage” from Midwest flooding.