The railroad said it earned $819 million, or $3.28 per share. That is up from $392 million, or $1.53 per share, a year ago.
The results beat Wall Street expectations. The analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Norfolk Southern to report earnings per share of $2.95.
A year ago, the number of shipments the railroad delivered fell 26% as the restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus slowed the economy to a crawl. This year, shipments were up in every category as business continued to recover. The biggest jump came in automotive shipments where the number of carloads the railroad delivered more than doubled over last year when many auto plants were shut down.
Norfolk Southern’s revenue surged 34% to $2.799 billion in the quarter. That also topped the $2.75 billion that analysts predicted.
The railroad boosted its outlook for the year. Norfolk Southern said Wednesday that it now expects revenue to grow 12% this year as shipments continue to recover, up from its previous forecast for a 9% increase.