Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) today announced its best ever fourth-quarter, with revenues up 5 percent to $1.71 billion and an operating ratio of 56.1 percent.
Fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share ("EPS") increased 159 percent to $6.77 from $2.61, which includes an income tax recovery of $527 million, primarily as a result of U.S. tax reform net of Canadian provincial tax rate increases. Adjusted diluted EPS rose 6 percent to a new quarterly record of $3.22 from $3.04.
"The fourth quarter was a record by almost every measure and should be celebrated by the men and women in the CP family who work hard every day to deliver for our customers and shareholders," said Keith Creel, CP President and CEO. "2017 was a positive year where we continued to build the foundation for sustainable long-term growth by enhancing our service offering, strengthening our team of professional railroaders, and furthering strategic partnerships with customers."A disciplined growth strategy combined with the fundamentals of precision railroading also produced full-year diluted EPS of $16.44, up 55 percent from $10.63 and full-year adjusted diluted EPS of $11.39, an increase of 11 percent from $10.29. The full-year reported operating ratio was 57.4 percent and adjusted operating ratio was a record 58.2 percent.
CP's personal injury rate improved 1 percent and its FRA accident frequency improved 12 percent, making 2017 the 12th consecutive year CP has led the industry with the lowest FRA-reportable train accident frequency. "Over the course of 2017 we built momentum thanks to our strategic approach to growth combined with our continued focus on operational excellence," Creel said. "That momentum has us well positioned to start 2018 and we look forward to delivering another year of record results in a safe and disciplined manner."
"With a 2018 plan that balances strategic growth with continued productivity improvement, CP expects revenue growth in the mid-single digits and adjusted diluted EPS growth to be in the low double-digits," said Creel. "I have never been more excited about the potential for CP as we write the next chapter in our compelling story, one focused on sustainable, profitable growth." CP's expectations for adjusted diluted EPS growth in 2018 are based on adjusted diluted EPS of $11.39 in 2017. CP assumes the Canadian-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate will be in the range of 1.25 to 1.30 and expects an effective tax rate of 24.5 to 25 percent. As CP continues to invest in service, productivity and safety, the company plans to invest between $1.35 billion to $1.5 billion in capital programs in 2018.CP will discuss its results with the financial community in a conference call beginning at 4:30 p.m. eastern time (2:30 p.m. mountain time) on January 18th, 2018.
For information regarding non-GAAP measures, including reconciliations to the nearest GAAP measures, see the attached supplementary schedule Non-GAAP Measures. In this news release, CP has provided a forward looking non-GAAP measure. It is not practicable to provide a reconciliation to a forward-looking reported diluted EPS, the most comparable GAAP measure, due to unknown variables and uncertainty related to future results.
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 2018 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 to the assumptions upon which the 2018 full-year guidance is based, as set out in CP's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q; 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 "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - 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.
Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to major ports on the west and east coasts, 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 cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP. CP-IR