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Norfolk Southern profit falls 46% as virus slows shipments

The railroad said Wednesday it earned $392 million, or $1.53 per share, during the quarter. That’s down from $722 million, or $2.70 per share, a year ago.

OMAHA, Neb. — Norfolk Southern Corp.’s second-quarter profit fell 46% as the railroad hauled 26% less freight because of the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on the economy. 

The railroad said Wednesday it earned $392 million, or $1.53 per share, during the quarter. That’s down from $722 million, or $2.70 per share, a year ago. The results beat Wall Street expectations.

The seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings per share of $1.39. 

The railroad handled significantly less freight as most automotive plants were shut down for much of the quarter and other manufacturers produced less as officials imposed restrictions in response to the virus.