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Burlington Northern Reports Lower Profit

The country's second-largest railroad said its third-quarter earnings dropped because people still weren't buying more goods in stores and industrial production continued to sputter.

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But much lower costs for fuel and labor kept the results from being worse.

Burlington Northern Santa Feearned $488 million, or $1.42 per share, compared with $695 million, or $1.99 per share at the same point last year. The results were well above Wall Street's expectations.

Revenue slipped 27 percent to $3.6 billion. The Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad said shipments of retail and industrial goods fell the most.

Analysts who follow Burlington Northern expected the company to turn in a gain of $1.28 a share on sales of $3.63 billion, according to a consensus from Thomson Reuters.

Burlington Northern shares were down .29 percent in extended trading Thursday. They closed at $84.53 a share.

Burlington Northern's rival CSX reported quarterly earnings last week that topped Wall Street expectations.

The railroad earned 74 cents a share in its third quarter on sales of $2.3 billion, compared with 94 cents a share on sales of $2.96 billion in the same period last year.