UPDATE 1-CN Railway profit rises as crude oil shipments increase
TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway , Canada's largest railroad, posted an increase in quarterly net profit on Monday, helped by freight rate rises and growth in crude oil shipments.
Net income rose to C$717 million ($693.42 million), or C$1.69 per diluted share, in the second quarter, from C$631 million, or C$1.44 a share, in the same quarter last year.
On an adjusted basis, earnings per share rose to C$1.66 from C$1.50 a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was C$2.67 billion.
Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of C$1.62 a share on revenue of C$2.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
CN Rail, whose shares have climbed about 20 percent over the past year, said revenues increased 18 percent in its petroleum and chemicals segment.
The Canadian rail industry has started to see big growth in crude-by-rail shipments, and crude shipments are the fastest-growing product for a number of Class 1 North American railroads as oil output increases more quickly than pipelines can handle or reach.
The risks of this trend were highlighted early this month when a runaway Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train carrying oil derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, killing some 50 people.
The deadly crash is raising questions over the safety of shipping hazardous materials by rail, and railways are likely to face new hurdles as officials consider tightening regulation.