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CP reports record low operating ratio for fourth quarter and full year amid challenging conditions

​​​​​​​Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) today announced its lowest-ever fourth-quarter operating ratio ("OR") of 56.2 percent and a record-low full-year OR of 58.6 percent as focussed cost control helped offset softer than expected volumes.

Fourth-quarter revenues decreased 3 percent to C$1.64 billion from $1.69 billion, while diluted earnings per share ("EPS") increased 25 percent to $2.61 from $2.08 and adjusted diluted EPS rose 12 percent to $3.04 from $2.72.

"While the fourth quarter was weighed down by challenging operating conditions, including unexpected and extreme weather on the West Coast that compounded the impact of an already delayed grain harvest, it once again highlighted our resiliency and ability to operate efficiently under tough conditions," said E. Hunter Harrison, CP's Chief Executive Officer. "I am particularly proud of our people who worked tirelessly over the last three months of 2016 to deliver for our customers in a safe and efficient manner."


  • Revenues decreased 7 percent to $6.23 billion from $6.71 billion
  • OR fell to a record 58.6 percent, improving on the 2015 reported OR by 140 basis-points and the adjusted OR by 240 basis-points
  • Reported diluted EPS increased 27 percent to $10.63 from $8.40; adjusted diluted EPS rose 2 percent to $10.29 from $10.10
  • Free cash flow of $1 billion

"2016 featured stiff economic headwinds and a challenging volume environment, headlined by a precipitous decline in crude oil shipments and weakness in grain movements, particularly in the first half," Harrison said. "These are not excuses, but opportunities to showcase our operating ability and leadership. As we have shown over the last four years, the precision railroading model works in all economic conditions."

In 2017, CP will continue to find opportunities to enhance the productivity, fluidity and safety of its operations.

"With continued margin improvement and an anticipated increase in volumes, led by a stronger bulk outlook, we expect adjusted diluted EPS growth to be in the high single-digits," said Keith Creel, CP's President and Chief Operating Officer. "With our strong leadership team, plus the commitment and discipline shown by the thousands of men and women every day at CP, the franchise is well positioned for 2017 and beyond."

CP's expectations for adjusted diluted EPS growth in 2017 are based on adjusted diluted EPS of $10.29 in 2016. CP assumes that in 2017 the Canadian-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate will be in the range of $1.30 to $1.35, the average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) will be approximately US$45 to $55 per barrel. To further enhance safety and fluidity of the network, CP also plans to invest approximately $1.25 billion in capital programs in 2017, an increase of 6 percent over the $1.18 billion spent in 2016. ​

Non-GAAP Measures

For further information regarding non-GAAP measures, including reconciliations to the nearest GAAP measures, see the attached supplementary schedule Non-GAAP Measures.

Conference Call Access                          

Toronto participants dial in number: 1-647-427-7450
Operator assisted toll free dial in number: 1-888-231-8191
Callers should dial in 10 minutes prior to the call.


We encourage you to access the webcast and presentation material in the Investors section of CP's website at

A replay of the fourth-quarter conference call will be available by phone through to February 15, 2017 at 416-849-0833 or toll free 1-855-859-2056, password 38021965.

Access to the webcast and audio file of the presentation will be made available at: 

Note on forward-looking information

This news release contains certain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws relating, but not limited, to our operations, priorities and plans, anticipated financial performance, including our 2017 full-year guidance, business prospects, planned capital expenditures, programs and strategies. This forward-looking information also includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "will", "outlook", "should" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. To the extent that CP has provided guidance using non-GAAP financial measures, the Company may not be able to provide a reconciliation to a GAAP measure, due to unknown variables and uncertainty related to future results.

Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance. By its nature, CP's forward-looking information involves numerous assumptions, inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking information, including but not limited to the following factors: changes in business strategies; general North American and global economic, credit and business conditions; risks in agricultural production such as weather conditions and insect populations; the availability and price of energy commodities; the effects of competition and pricing pressures; industry capacity; shifts in market demand; changes in commodity prices; uncertainty surrounding timing and volumes of commodities being shipped via CP; inflation; changes in laws and regulations, including regulation of rates; changes in taxes and tax rates; potential increases in maintenance and operating costs; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; labour disputes; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; transportation of dangerous goods; timing of completion of capital and maintenance projects; currency and interest rate fluctuations; effects of changes in market conditions and discount rates on the financial position of pension plans and investments; and various events that could disrupt operations, including severe weather, droughts, floods, avalanches and earthquakes as well as security threats and governmental response to them, and technological changes. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. These and other factors are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CP with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Information" in CP's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Forward looking information is based on current expectations, estimates and projections and it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections, and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by CP. Except as required by law, CP undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit to see the rail advantages of CP.


Martin Cej


 Investment Community

Maeghan Albiston
403-319-3591  ​


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