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NORFOLK (AP) -- Norfolk Southern Corp. says the weak economy contributed to a 27 percent drop in profits as the company hauled less coal and other merchandise.

The railroad said Tuesday that it earned $402 million, or $1.24 per share, in the third quarter. That's down from $554 million, or $1.59 per share, Norfolk Southern reported last year but in line with the revised forecast officials offered last month.

The company said revenue fell nearly 7 percent to $2.7 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.25 per share and $2.73 billion in revenue, according to FactSet. Many analysts lowered their forecasts after the railroad said Sept. 19 that it expected earnings of between $1.18 and $1.25 per share for the quarter because of the revenue drop.

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