CN reports Q2-2014 net income of C$847 million, up 18 per cent from year-earlier net income of C$717 million

Q2-2014 diluted earnings per share (EPS) of C$1.03 increased 24 per cent over adjusted diluted Q2-2013 EPS of C$0.83 (1)

MONTREAL, July 21, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today reported its financial and operating results for the second quarter and six-month period ended June 30, 2014.

Second-quarter 2014 financial highlights

  • Net income was C$847 million, or C$1.03 per diluted share, compared with net income of C$717 million, or C$0.84 per diluted share, for the year-earlier quarter. The Q2-2013 results included a net gain of C$13 million (C$0.01 per diluted share) resulting from a gain on a non-monetary transaction with another railway that was partly offset by the effect of the enactment of higher provincial corporate income tax rates.
  • Excluding the Q2-2013 net gain, Q2-2014 diluted EPS of C$1.03 increased 24 per cent over last year's adjusted diluted EPS of C$0.83. (1)
  • Operating income for the second-quarter of 2014 increased 21 per cent to C$1,258 million.
  • Second-quarter 2014 revenues increased 17 per cent to C$3,116 million, revenue ton-miles grew by 14 per cent, and carloadings increased 11 per cent.
  • CN's operating ratio for Q2-2014 improved by 1.3 points to 59.6 per cent from 60.9 per cent for the year-earlier quarter.
  • Free cash flow for the first half of 2014 was C$1,270 million, compared with C$788 million for the year-earlier first half. (1)

Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer, said: "CN recovered swiftly from the first-quarter winter weather challenges - just as our customers would expect us to do - thanks to solid execution by our dedicated team of railroaders. CN delivered record volumes in the quarter by bringing its key supply chains back into sync and taking advantage of continued strength in several of our core markets. This solid operational recovery underscores our ability to accommodate growth at low incremental cost and to drive very strong financial results."

CN's Western Canada grain hopper car movements were particularly strong during the second quarter, up nearly 70 per cent from the year-earlier period. The Company expects such hopper car movements for the crop-year ending July 31, 2014, to be a new record and close to 25 per cent higher than average crop-year movements.

Mongeau said: "We are pleased that the Canadian grain supply chain CN serves is now back in sync. Our wait-list of customer grain car orders represents only about one week of shipments from the Prairies, and grain vessel line-ups at all ports are back to normal."

Revised 2014 financial outlook (1) (2)
CN's strong second-quarter results and continued growth opportunities in intermodal, bulk and merchandise markets have prompted a positive revision to the Company's 2014 financial outlook. Under its revised 2014 outlook, CN now expects to:

  • Deliver solid double-digit EPS growth in 2014 over adjusted diluted 2013 EPS of C$3.06, compared with its earlier forecast of aiming for double-digit 2014 EPS growth, and
  • Generate free cash flow in the range of C$1.8 billion to C$2 billion, compared with the earlier free cash flow projection of C$1.6 billion to C$1.7 billion for 2014. (1)

Mongeau said: "The continuing success of our agenda of Operational and Service Excellence positions CN well to achieve this improved financial outlook for the year."

Foreign currency impact on results
Although CN reports its earnings in Canadian dollars, a large portion of its revenues and expenses is denominated in U.S. dollars. As such, the Company's results are affected by exchange-rate fluctuations. On a constant currency basis that excludes the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, CN's second-quarter 2014 net income would have been lower by C$28 million, or C$0.03 per diluted share. (1)

Second-quarter 2014 revenues, traffic volumes and expenses
Revenues for the second quarter of 2014 increased by 17 per cent to C$3,116 million. Revenues increased for grain and fertilizers (35 per cent), metals and minerals (20 per cent), intermodal (17 per cent), petroleum and chemicals (17 per cent) automotive (15 per cent), forest products (nine per cent), and coal (five per cent).

The increase in revenues was mainly attributable to higher freight volumes due to a record Canadian grain crop, strong energy markets and market share gains, particularly in intermodal; the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar on U.S.-dollar-denominated revenues; and freight rate increases.

Revenues in the second quarter of 2014 also benefited from increased volumes as the Company recovered from winter weather-related challenges that delayed shipments in the first quarter of 2014.

Carloadings for the second quarter rose 11 per cent to 1,463 thousand.

Revenue ton-miles, measuring the relative weight and distance of rail freight transported by CN, increased by 14 per cent over the year-earlier quarter. Rail freight revenue per revenue ton-mile, a measurement of yield defined as revenue earned on the movement of a ton of freight over one mile, increased by four per cent over the year-earlier period, driven by the positive translation impact of the weaker Canadian dollar and freight rate increases, partly offset by an increase in the average length of haul.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased by 14 per cent to C$1,858 million. That was mainly attributable to the negative translation impact of a weaker Canadian dollar on U.S.-dollar-denominated expenses, higher fuel costs, increased labor and fringe benefits expense and increased purchased services and material expense.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information included in this news release constitutes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements. To the extent that CN has provided guidance that are non-GAAP financial measures, the Company may not be able to provide a reconciliation to the GAAP measures, due to unknown variables and uncertainty related to future results. Key assumptions used in determining forward-looking information are set forth below.

Current 2014 key assumptions
CN has made a number of economic and market assumptions in preparing its 2014 outlook. The Company is forecasting that North American industrial production for the year will increase by about three to four percent, compared with three per cent growth as stated in its first-quarter 2014 financial results news release issued on April 22, 2014. CN also expects U.S. housing starts to be in the range of one million units, down slightly from its April 22, 2014, forecast of 1.1 million units. CN is also assuming U.S. motor vehicles sales will be approximately 16 million units. In addition, CN is assuming 2014/2015 grain crops in Canada and the United States will be in-line with their respective five-year averages. With these assumptions, CN now assumes mid to high single-digit carload growth, compared with mid-single digit carload growth stated on April 22, 2014, along with continued pricing improvement above inflation. CN also assumes that the value of the Canadian dollar in U.S. currency will be in the range of $0.90 to $0.95 and the price of crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) to be in the range of US$95-$105 per barrel. In 2014, CN plans to invest approximately C$2.25 billion in capital program, of which approximately C$1.2 billion is targeted toward maintaining the safety and integrity of the network, particularly track infrastructure. The capital program also includes funds for projects supporting growth and productivity.

Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risk factors.

CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable Canadian securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

1)  See discussion and reconciliation of non-GAAP adjusted performance measures in the attached supplementary schedule, Non-GAAP Measures.
 
2) See Forward-Looking statements for a summary of the key assumptions and risks regarding CN's 2014 outlook.

CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.


Consolidated Statement of Income - unaudited

  Three months ended   Six months ended
  June 30   June 30
In millions, except per share data   2014     2013     2014     2013
Revenues                         $ 3,116   $ 2,666   $ 5,809   $ 5,132
                       
Operating expenses                      
Labor and fringe benefits   560     498     1,147     1,067
Purchased services and material   390     341     778     669
Fuel   484     402     952     807
Depreciation and amortization   257     250     513     485
Equipment rents   84     68     161     136
Casualty and other   83     65     180     146
Total operating expenses   1,858     1,624     3,731     3,310
Operating income   1,258     1,042     2,078     1,822                        
Interest expense   (91)     (88)     (183)     (177)                        
Other income (Note 3)   2     28     96     70
Income before income taxes   1,169     982     1,991     1,715
Income tax expense (Note 7)   (322)     (265)     (521)     (443)
Net income $ 847   $ 717   $ 1,470   $ 1,272
                       
Earnings per share (Note 10)                      
Basic $ 1.03   $ 0.85   $ 1.78   $ 1.50
Diluted $ 1.03   $ 0.84   $ 1.77   $ 1.49
                       
Weighted-average number of shares (Note 10)                      
Basic   821.8     846.1     824.9     849.8
Diluted   825.3     849.1     828.3     852.8
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements. 


Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income - unaudited

          Three months ended   Six months ended
  June 30   June 30
In millions   2014     2013     2014     2013
                             
Net income $ 847   $ 717   $ 1,470   $ 1,272
Other comprehensive income (loss) (Note 11)                      
Net gain (loss) on foreign currency translation   (30)     23     (5)     35
Net change in pension and other postretirement benefit plans   30     56     63     116
Other comprehensive income before income taxes   -     79     58     151
Income tax recovery (expense)   (38)     14     (14)     12
Other comprehensive income (loss)   (38)     93     44     163
Comprehensive income $ 809   $ 810   $ 1,514   $ 1,435
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements.


Consolidated Balance Sheet - unaudited

  June 30   December 31   June 30
In millions   2014     2013     2013
                 
Assets                
Current assets                
  Cash and cash equivalents $ 127   $ 214   $ 87
  Restricted cash and cash equivalents (Note 4)   468     448     497
  Accounts receivable (Note 4)   925     815     876
  Material and supplies   355     274     330
  Deferred and receivable income taxes   74     137     34
  Other   93     89     81
Total current assets   2,042     1,977     1,905
Properties   26,478     26,227     25,305
Intangible and other assets   2,114     1,959     335
Total assets $ 30,634   $ 30,163   $ 27,545
                 
Liabilities and shareholders' equity                
Current liabilities                
  Accounts payable and other $ 1,601   $ 1,477   $ 1,469
  Current portion of long-term debt (Note 4)   621     1,021     1,322
Total current liabilities   2,222     2,498     2,791
Deferred income taxes   6,709     6,537     5,867
Pension and other postretirement benefits, net of current portion   544     541     594
Other liabilities and deferred credits   776     815     767
Long-term debt   7,040     6,819     6,141
Shareholders' equity                
  Common shares   3,975     4,015     4,063
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss (Note 11)   (1,806)     (1,850)     (3,094)
  Retained earnings   11,174     10,788     10,416
Total shareholders' equity   13,343     12,953     11,385
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity $ 30,634   $ 30,163   $ 27,545
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements.

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Shareholders' Equity - unaudited

  Three months ended   Six months ended
  June 30   June 30
In millions   2014     2013     2014     2013
   
Common shares (1)                      
Balance, beginning of period $ 3,994   $ 4,088   $ 4,015   $ 4,108
  Stock options exercised and other   9     10     18     27
  Share repurchase programs (Note 4)   (28)     (35)     (58)     (72)
Balance, end of period $ 3,975   $ 4,063   $ 3,975   $ 4,063
                       
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (Note 11)                      
Balance, beginning of period $ (1,768)   $ (3,187)   $ (1,850)   $ (3,257)
  Other comprehensive income (loss)   (38)     93     44     163
Balance, end of period $ (1,806)   $ (3,094)   $ (1,806)   $ (3,094)
                       
Retained earnings                      
Balance, beginning of period $ 10,870   $ 10,211   $ 10,788   $ 10,167
  Net income   847     717     1,470     1,272
  Share repurchase programs (Note 4)   (337)     (330)     (672)     (658)
  Dividends   (206)     (182)     (412)     (365)
Balance, end of period $ 11,174   $ 10,416   $ 11,174   $ 10,416
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements.
(1) During the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, the Company issued 0.2 million and 0.5 million common shares, respectively, as a result of stock options exercised and repurchased 5.6 million and 11.9 million common shares, respectively, under its current share repurchase program. At June 30, 2014, the Company had 819.2 million common shares outstanding.

During the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, the Company issued 0.3 million and 1.1 million common shares, respectively, as a result of stock options exercised and repurchased 7.2 million and 15.0 million common shares, respectively, under its previous share repurchase program. At June 30, 2013, the Company had 842.9 million common shares outstanding.


Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows - unaudited

  Three months ended   Six months ended
  June 30   June 30
In millions   2014     2013     2014     2013
     
Operating activities    
Net income $ 847   $ 717   $ 1,470   $ 1,272
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:                      
  Depreciation and amortization   257     250     513     485
  Deferred income taxes   53     73     148     156
  Gain on disposal of property (Note 3)   -     (29)     (80)     (69)
  Changes in operating assets and liabilities:                      
    Accounts receivable   (47)     39     (99)     (20)
    Material and supplies   (27)     (38)     (81)     (95)
    Accounts payable and other   143     118     96     (203)
    Other current assets   24     14     11     11
  Pensions and other, net   23     (81)     (60)     (153)
Net cash provided by operating activities   1,273     1,063     1,918     1,384
                       
Investing activities    
Property additions   (482)     (418)     (730)     (646)
Disposal of property (Note 3)   -     -     97     52
Change in restricted cash and cash equivalents   3     15     (20)     24
Other, net   (15)     (8)     (15)     (2)
Net cash used in investing activities   (494)     (411)     (668)     (572)
                       
Financing activities    
Issuance of debt, excluding commercial paper (Note 4)   -     -     347     505
Repayment of debt, excluding commercial paper   (117)     (156)     (573)     (896)
Net issuance (repayment) of commercial paper   (180)     (15)     9     551
Issuance of common shares due to exercise of stock options and related excess tax benefits realized   6     9     13     23
Repurchase of common shares (Note 4)   (347)     (351)     (712)     (712)
Dividends paid   (206)     (182)     (412)     (365)
Net cash used in financing activities   (844)     (695)     (1,328)     (894)
Effect of foreign exchange fluctuations on US dollar-denominated cash and cash equivalents   (6)     2     (9)     14
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents   (71)     (41)     (87)     (68)
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period   198     128     214     155
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 127   $ 87   $ 127   $ 87
                       
Supplemental cash flow information                      
Net cash receipts from customers and other $ 3,060   $ 2,656   $ 5,732   $ 5,165
Net cash payments for:                      
  Employee services, suppliers and other expenses   (1,512)     (1,241)     (3,196)     (2,913)
  Interest   (105)     (84)     (210)     (174)
  Personal injury and other claims   (11)     (14)     (24)     (28)
  Pensions (Note 6)   (7)     (109)     (100)     (210)
  Income taxes   (152)     (145)     (284)     (456)
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 1,273   $ 1,063   $ 1,918   $ 1,384
See accompanying notes to unaudited consolidated financial statements.


Notes to Unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements

1 - Basis of presentation
In management's opinion, the accompanying unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto, expressed in Canadian dollars, and prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) for interim financial statements, contain all adjustments (consisting of normal recurring accruals) necessary to present fairly Canadian National Railway Company's (the Company) financial position as at June 30, 2014, December 31, 2013 and June 30, 2013, and its results of operations, changes in shareholders' equity and cash flows for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013.

To be consistent with the basis of presentation used in preparing the Company's 2013 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements, these unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto reflect the fourth quarter 2013 common stock split and net basis disclosure of commercial paper as described below.

On October 22, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Company approved a two-for-one common stock split in the form of a stock dividend of one additional common share of CN for each share outstanding, paid on November 29, 2013 to shareholders of record on November 15, 2013. At the effective date of the stock split, all equity-based benefit plans and share repurchase programs were adjusted to reflect the issuance of such additional shares. All share and per share data presented herein reflect the impact of the stock split.

Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company revised the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows to present on a net basis the issuances and repayments of commercial paper, all of which have a maturity of less than 90 days and which were previously reported on a gross basis.

These unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto have been prepared using accounting policies consistent with those used in preparing the Company's 2013 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements. While management believes that the disclosures presented are adequate to make the information not misleading, these unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto should be read in conjunction with the Company's 2013 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto.

2 - Accounting change
On May 28, 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which establishes principles for reporting the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenues and cash flows arising from an entity's contracts with customers. The core principle of the new standard is that an entity recognizes revenue to represent the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. This standard is effective for annual and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance within U.S. GAAP. Early adoption is not permitted. The standard permits the use of either the retrospective or cumulative effect transition method. The Company is evaluating the effect that ASU 2014-09 will have on its Consolidated Financial Statements, related disclosures, as well as the transition method to apply the new standard.

3 - Disposal of property
2014
Deux-Montagnes
On February 28, 2014, the Company closed a transaction with Agence Métropolitaine de Transport to sell the Deux-Montagnes subdivision between Saint-Eustache and Montreal, Quebec, including the Mont-Royal tunnel, together with the rail fixtures (collectively the "Deux-Montagnes"), for cash proceeds of $97 million before transaction costs. Under the agreement, the Company obtained the perpetual right to operate freight trains over the Deux-Montagnes at its then current level of operating activity, with the possibility of increasing its operating activity for additional consideration. The transaction resulted in a gain on disposal of $80 million ($72 million after-tax) that was recorded in Other income under the full accrual method of accounting for real estate transactions.

2013
Exchange of easements
On June 8, 2013, the Company entered into an agreement with another Class I railroad to exchange perpetual railroad operating easements including the track and roadway assets on specific rail lines (collectively the "exchange of easements") without monetary consideration. The Company has accounted for the exchange of easements at fair value pursuant to FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 845, Nonmonetary Transactions. The transaction resulted in a gain on exchange of easements of $29 million ($18 million after-tax) that was recorded in Other income.

Lakeshore West
On March 19, 2013, the Company entered into an agreement with Metrolinx to sell a segment of the Oakville subdivision in Oakville and Burlington, Ontario, together with the rail fixtures and certain passenger agreements (collectively the "Lakeshore West"), for cash proceeds of $52 million before transaction costs. Under the agreement, the Company obtained the perpetual right to operate freight trains over the Lakeshore West at its then current level of operating activity, with the possibility of increasing its operating activity for additional consideration. The transaction resulted in a gain on disposal of $40 million ($36 million after-tax) that was recorded in Other income under the full accrual method of accounting for real estate transactions.

4 - Financing activities
Shelf prospectus and registration statement
On February 11, 2014, under its current shelf prospectus and registration statement which expires January 2016, the Company issued $250 million 2.75% Notes due 2021 in the Canadian capital markets, which resulted in net proceeds of $247 million, intended for general corporate purposes, including the redemption and refinancing of outstanding indebtedness and share repurchases.

Revolving credit facility
The Company has an $800 million revolving credit facility agreement with a consortium of lenders. The agreement, which contains customary terms and conditions, allows for an increase in the facility amount, up to a maximum of $1.3 billion, as well as the option to extend the term by an additional year at each anniversary date, subject to the consent of individual lenders. The Company exercised such option and on March 14, 2014, the expiry date of the agreement was extended by one year to May 5, 2019. The Company plans to use the credit facility for working capital and general corporate purposes, including backstopping its commercial paper program. As at June 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013, the Company had no outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility and there were no draws during the six months ended June 30, 2014.

Commercial paper
The Company has a commercial paper program, which is backed by its revolving credit facility, enabling it to issue commercial paper up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $800 million, or the US dollar equivalent. As at June 30, 2014, the Company had total borrowings of $285 million ($273 million as at December 31, 2013) presented in Current portion of long-term debt on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at a weighted-average interest rate of 1.14% (1.14% as at December 31, 2013).

Accounts receivable securitization program
The Company has a three-year agreement that expires on February 1, 2016 to sell an undivided co-ownership interest in a revolving pool of accounts receivable to unrelated trusts for maximum cash proceeds of $450 million.

The Company accounts for the proceeds of its accounts receivable securitization program as a secured borrowing under ASC 860, Transfers and Servicing. As such, as at June 30, 2014, the Company recorded $250 million ($250 million as at December 31, 2013) of proceeds received under the accounts receivable securitization program in the Current portion of long-term debt on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at a weighted-average interest rate of 1.21% (1.18% as at December 31, 2013) which is secured by and limited to $279 million ($281 million as at December 31, 2013) of accounts receivable.

Bilateral letter of credit facilities and Restricted cash and cash equivalents
The Company has a series of bilateral letter of credit facility agreements with various banks to support its requirements to post letters of credit in the ordinary course of business. On March 14, 2014, the expiry date of these agreements was extended by one year to April 28, 2017. Under these agreements, the Company has the option from time to time to pledge collateral in the form of cash or cash equivalents, for a minimum term of one month, equal to at least the face value of the letters of credit issued. As at June 30, 2014, the Company had letters of credit drawn of $491 million ($481 million as at December 31, 2013) from a total committed amount of $510 million ($503 million as at December 31, 2013) by the various banks. As at June 30, 2014, cash and cash equivalents of $468 million ($448 million as at December 31, 2013) were pledged as collateral and recorded as Restricted cash and cash equivalents on the Consolidated Balance Sheet.

Share repurchase programs
On October 22, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Company approved a share repurchase program which allows for the repurchase of up to 30.0 million common shares, between October 29, 2013 and October 23, 2014, pursuant to a normal course issuer bid at prevailing market prices plus brokerage fees, or such other prices as may be permitted by the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The following table provides the information related to the share repurchase programs for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013:

  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions, except per share data 2014 2013   2014 2013
Number of common shares repurchased (1)   5.6   7.2     11.9   15.0
Weighted-average price per share (2) $ 64.70 $ 50.52   $ 61.29 $ 48.71
Amount of repurchase $ 365 $ 365   $ 730 $ 730
(1) Includes common shares purchased in the first quarters of 2014 and 2013 pursuant to private agreements between the Company and arm's length third-party sellers.
(2) Includes brokerage fees.

5 - Stock plans
The Company has various stock-based incentive plans for eligible employees. A description of the Company's major plans is provided in Note 10 - Stock plans to the Company's 2013 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements. The following table provides total stock-based compensation expense for awards under all plans, as well as the related tax benefit recognized in income, for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013:

  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions   2014   2013     2014   2013
Cash settled awards                  
Share Unit Plan (1) $ 31 $ 11   $ 45 $ 21
Voluntary Incentive Deferral Plan (VIDP)   20   (1)     21   13
Total cash settled awards   51   10     66   34
Stock option awards   3   2     5   4
Total stock-based compensation expense $ 54 $ 12   $ 71 $ 38
Tax benefit recognized in income $ 15 $ 2   $ 19 $ 8
(1) The six months ended June 30, 2013 includes the reversal of approximately $20 million of stock-based compensation expense related to the forfeiture of performance share units by former executives.

Cash settled awards
Share Unit Plan
Following approval by the Board of Directors in January 2014, the Company granted 0.8 million performance share units (PSUs), previously known as restricted share units to designated management employees entitling them to receive payout in cash based on the Company's share price. The PSUs granted are generally scheduled for payout after three years ("plan period") and vest conditionally upon the attainment of a target relating to return on invested capital over the plan period.

Payout is conditional upon the attainment of a minimum share price calculated using the average of the last three months of the plan period. In addition, commencing at various dates, for senior and executive management employees ("executive employees"), payout on PSUs is also conditional on compliance with the conditions of their benefit plans, award or employment agreements, including but not limited to non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure of confidential information conditions. Current or former executive employees who breach such conditions of their benefit plans, award or employment agreements will forfeit the PSU payout. Should the Company reasonably determine that a current or former executive employee may have violated the conditions of their benefit plans, award or employment agreement, the Company may at its discretion change the manner of vesting of the PSUs to suspend payout on any PSUs pending resolution of such matter.

The following table provides the 2014 activity for all cash settled awards:

    PSUs   VIDP
In millions   Nonvested Vested   Nonvested Vested
Outstanding at December 31, 2013   1.7  0.9    2.3 
  Granted (Payout)   0.8  (0.9)   (0.1)
Outstanding at June 30, 2014   2.5    2.2 


The following table provides valuation and expense information for all cash settled awards:

In millions, unless otherwise indicated     PSUs (1) VIDP (2)   Total
Year of grant 2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009         
Stock-based compensation expense (recovery) recognized over requisite service period                                  
Six months ended June 30, 2014 $ 11 $ 18 $ 18 $ (2) $ - $ -   $ 21 $ 66
Six months ended June 30, 2013 (3)   N/A $ 7 $ 15 $ 12 $ (4) $ (9)   $ 13 $ 34
                                     
Liability outstanding                                  
June 30, 2014 $ 11 $ 52 $ 79 $ - $ - $ -   $ 160 $ 302
December 31, 2013   N/A $ 34 $ 61 $ 80 $ - $ -   $ 145 $ 320
                                     
Fair value per unit                                  
June 30, 2014 ($) $ 52.43 $ 67.73 $ 68.90   N/A   N/A   N/A   $ 69.40   N/A
                                     
Fair value of awards vested during the period                                  
Six months ended June 30, 2014 $ - $ - $ - $ -   N/A   N/A   $ 1 $ 1
Six months ended June 30, 2013   N/A $ - $ - $ - $ -   N/A   $ 1 $ 1
                                     
Nonvested awards at June 30, 2014                                  
Unrecognized compensation cost $ 27 $ 24 $ 9 $ -   N/A   N/A   $ 2 $ 62
Remaining recognition period (years)   2.5   1.5   0.5   N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A (4)   N/A
                                     
Assumptions (5)                                  
Stock price ($) $ 69.40 $ 69.40 $ 69.40   N/A   N/A   N/A   $ 69.40   N/A
Expected stock price volatility (6)   15%   13%   13%   N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A   N/A
Expected term (years) (7)   2.5   1.5   0.5   N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A   N/A
Risk-free interest rate (8)   1.14%   1.06%   0.97%   N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A   N/A
Dividend rate ($) (9) $ 1.00 $ 1.00 $ 1.00   N/A   N/A   N/A     N/A   N/A
(1) Compensation cost is based on the fair value of the awards at period-end using the lattice-based valuation model that uses the assumptions as presented herein.
(2) Compensation cost is based on intrinsic value.
(3) Includes the reversal of approximately $20 million of stock-based compensation expense related to the forfeiture of PSUs by former executives.
(4) The remaining recognition period has not been quantified as it relates solely to the 25% Company grant and the dividends earned thereon, representing a minimal number of units.
(5) Assumptions used to determine fair value are at June 30, 2014.
(6) Based on the historical volatility of the Company's stock over a period commensurate with the expected term of the award.
(7) Represents the remaining period of time that awards are expected to be outstanding.  
(8) Based on the implied yield available on zero-coupon government issues with an equivalent term commensurate with the expected term of the awards.
(9) Based on the annualized dividend rate.

Stock option awards
Following approval by the Board of Directors in January 2014, the Company granted 1.0 million conventional stock options to designated senior management employees. The stock option plan allows eligible employees to acquire common shares of the Company upon vesting at a price equal to the market value of the common shares at the date of grant. The options issued by the Company are conventional options that vest over a period of time. The right to exercise options generally accrues over a period of four years of continuous employment. Options are not generally exercisable during the first 12 months after the date of grant and expire after 10 years. At June 30, 2014, 19.2 million common shares remained authorized for future issuances under this plan. The total number of options outstanding at June 30, 2014 was 8.2 million.

The following table provides the activity of stock option awards during 2014, and for options outstanding and exercisable at June 30, 2014, the weighted-average exercise price and the weighted-average years to expiration. The table also provides the aggregate intrinsic value for in-the-money stock options, which represents the value that would have been received by option holders had they exercised their options on June 30, 2014 at the Company's closing stock price of $69.40 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

  Options outstanding 
  Number
of options
Weighted-average
exercise price
  Weighted-average
years to expiration
  Aggregate
intrinsic value
  In millions             In millions
Outstanding at December 31, 2013 (1) 7.7 $ 30.97          
  Granted 1.0 $ 58.72          
  Exercised (0.5) $ 24.53          
Outstanding at June 30, 2014 (1) 8.2 $ 34.46   5.8   $ 285
Exercisable at June 30, 2014 (1) 5.6 $ 28.06   4.6   $ 233
(1) Stock options with a US dollar exercise price have been translated to Canadian dollars using the foreign exchange rate in effect at the balance sheet date.

The following table provides valuation and expense information for all stock option awards:


In millions, unless otherwise indicated                                        
Year of grant   2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     Total 
Stock-based compensation expense recognized over requisite service period (1)                                        
Six months ended June 30, 2014 $ 3   $ 1   $ -   $ 1   $ -   $ -   $ 5
Six months ended June 30, 2013   N/A   $ 2   $ 1   $ 1   $ -   $ -   $ 4
                                         
Fair value per unit                                        
At grant date ($) $ 11.08   $ 8.52   $ 7.74   $ 7.83   $ 6.55   $ 6.30     N/A
                                         
Fair value of awards vested during the period                                        
Six months ended June 30, 2014 $ -   $ 2   $ 2   $ 3   $ 2   $ -   $ 9
Six months ended June 30, 2013   N/A   $ -   $ 2   $ 3   $ 2   $ 4   $ 11
                                         
Nonvested awards at June 30, 2014                                        
Unrecognized compensation cost $ 7   $ 2   $ 1   $ 1   $ -   $ -   $ 11
Remaining recognition period (years)   3.5     2.5     1.5     0.5     -     -     N/A
                                         
Assumptions                                        
Grant price ($) $ 58.72   $ 47.47   $ 38.35   $ 34.47   $ 27.38   $ 21.07     N/A
Expected stock price volatility (2)   23%     23%     26%     26%     28%     39%     N/A
Expected term (years) (3)   5.4     5.4     5.4     5.3     5.4     5.3     N/A
Risk-free interest rate (4)   1.51%     1.41%     1.33%     2.53%     2.44%     1.97%     N/A
Dividend rate ($) (5) $ 1.00   $ 0.86   $ 0.75   $ 0.65   $ 0.54   $ 0.51     N/A
(1) Compensation cost is based on the grant date fair value using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model that uses the assumptions at the grant date.
(2) Based on the average of the historical volatility of the Company's stock over a period commensurate with the expected term of the award and the implied volatility from traded options on the Company's stock.
(3) Represents the period of time that awards are expected to be outstanding. The Company uses historical data to estimate option exercise and employee termination, and groups of employees that have similar historical exercise behavior are considered separately.
(4) Based on the implied yield available on zero-coupon government issues with an equivalent term commensurate with the expected term of the awards.
(5) Based on the annualized dividend rate.

 

6 - Pensions and other postretirement benefits
The Company has various retirement benefit plans under which substantially all of its employees are entitled to benefits at retirement age, generally based on compensation and length of service and/or contributions. Senior and executive management employees ("executive employees") subject to certain minimum service and age requirements, are also eligible for an additional retirement benefit under their Special Retirement Stipend Agreements (SRS), the Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERP) or the Defined Contribution Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (DC SERP). Executive employees who breach the non-compete, non-solicitation and non-disclosure of confidential information conditions of the SRS, SERP or DC SERP plans or other employment agreement will forfeit the retirement benefit under these plans. Should the Company reasonably determine that a current or former executive employee may have violated the conditions of their SRS, SERP, or DC SERP plan or other employment agreement, the Company may at its discretion withhold or suspend payout of the retirement benefit pending resolution of such matter.

For the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013, the components of net periodic benefit cost (income) for pensions and other postretirement benefits were as follows:

Components of net periodic benefit cost (income) for pensions
                   
  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions   2014   2013     2014   2013
Service cost $ 31 $ 37   $ 66 $ 78
Interest cost   177   165     355   329
Settlement gain   -   -     -   (1)
Expected return on plan assets   (244)   (240)     (489)   (479)
Amortization of prior service cost   1   1     2   2
Amortization of net actuarial loss   30   54     62   113
Net periodic benefit cost (income) $ (5) $ 17   $ (4) $ 42
                   
Components of net periodic benefit cost for other postretirement benefits
                   
  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions   2014   2013     2014   2013
Service cost $ - $ -   $ 1 $ 1
Interest cost   4   3     6   5
Amortization of prior service cost   -   1     1   1
Amortization of net actuarial gain   (1)   -     (2)   -
Net periodic benefit cost $ 3 $ 4   $ 6 $ 7

Company contributions to its various pension plans are made in accordance with the applicable legislation in Canada and the United States (U.S.) and are determined by actuarial valuations. Actuarial valuations are generally required on an annual basis both in Canada and the U.S. The latest actuarial valuations for funding purposes for the Company's Canadian pension plans, based on a valuation date of December 31, 2013, were filed in June 2014 and identified a going-concern surplus of approximately $1.6 billion and a solvency deficit of approximately $1.7 billion calculated using the three-year average of the Company's hypothetical wind-up ratio in accordance with the Pension Benefit Standards Regulations, 1985. Under Canadian legislation, the solvency deficit is required to be funded through special solvency payments, for which each annual amount is equal to one fifth of the solvency deficit, and is re-established at each valuation date.

Pension contributions made in the first six months of 2014 and 2013 of $100 million and $210 million, respectively, mainly represent contributions to the Company's main pension plan, the CN Pension Plan. These pension contributions are for the current service cost as determined under the Company's current actuarial valuations for funding purposes. The Company expects to make total cash contributions in 2014 of approximately $130 million for all of the Company's pension plans. Voluntary contributions can be treated as a prepayment against the Company's required special solvency deficit payments. As at December 31, 2013, the Company had approximately $470 million of accumulated prepayments available to offset future required solvency deficit payments. The Company applied approximately $170 million of such prepayments during the first six months of 2014 and will apply approximately $165 million for the remainder of the year.

Additional information relating to the pension plans is provided in Note 11 - Pensions and other postretirement benefits to the Company's 2013 Annual Consolidated Financial Statements.

7 - Income taxes
The Company recorded income tax expense of $322 million and $521 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, compared to $265 million and $443 million, respectively, for the same periods in 2013.

Included in the 2014 figure was an income tax recovery of $18 million resulting from a change in estimate of the deferred income tax liability related to properties, which was recorded in the first quarter.

Included in the 2013 figures was a net income tax recovery of $26 million; consisting of a $5 million income tax expense resulting from the enactment of higher provincial corporate income tax rates and a $15 million income tax recovery resulting from the recognition of U.S. state income tax losses, which were both recorded in the second quarter; and a $16 million income tax recovery resulting from a revision of the apportionment of U.S. state income taxes, which was recorded in the first quarter.

8 - Major commitments and contingencies
Commitments
As at June 30, 2014, the Company had commitments to acquire railroad ties, rail, freight cars, locomotives, and other equipment and services, as well as outstanding information technology service contracts and licenses, at an aggregate cost of $763 million ($482 million as at December 31, 2013). The Company also has estimated remaining commitments of approximately $278 million (US$260 million), in relation to the U.S. federal government legislative requirement to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by December 31, 2015.

In addition, the Company has estimated remaining commitments, through to December 31, 2016, of approximately $69 million (US$65 million), in relation to the acquisition of the principal lines of the former Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Company. These commitments are for railroad infrastructure improvements, grade separation projects as well as commitments under a series of agreements with individual communities and a comprehensive voluntary mitigation program established to address surrounding municipalities' concerns.

The Company also has agreements with fuel suppliers which allow but do not require the Company to purchase approximately 80% of its estimated remaining 2014 volume, 60% of its anticipated 2015 volume, 55% of its anticipated 2016 volume and 20% of its anticipated 2017 volume at market prices prevailing on the date of the purchase.

Contingencies
In the normal course of business, the Company becomes involved in various legal actions seeking compensatory and occasionally punitive damages, including actions brought on behalf of various purported classes of claimants and claims relating to employee and third-party personal injuries, occupational disease and property damage, arising out of harm to individuals or property allegedly caused by, but not limited to, derailments or other accidents.

Canada
Employee injuries are governed by the workers' compensation legislation in each province whereby employees may be awarded either a lump sum or a future stream of payments depending on the nature and severity of the injury. As such, the provision for employee injury claims is discounted. In the provinces where the Company is self-insured, costs related to employee work-related injuries are accounted for based on actuarially developed estimates of the ultimate cost associated with such injuries, including compensation, health care and third-party administration costs. A comprehensive actuarial study is generally performed at least on a triennial basis. For all other legal actions, the Company maintains, and regularly updates on a case-by-case basis, provisions for such items when the expected loss is both probable and can be reasonably estimated based on currently available information.

United States
Personal injury claims by the Company's employees, including claims alleging occupational disease and work-related injuries, are subject to the provisions of the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). Employees are compensated under FELA for damages assessed based on a finding of fault through the U.S. jury system or through individual settlements. As such, the provision is undiscounted. With limited exceptions where claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, the Company follows an actuarial-based approach and accrues the expected cost for personal injury, including asserted and unasserted occupational disease claims, and property damage claims, based on actuarial estimates of their ultimate cost. A comprehensive actuarial study is performed annually.

For employee work-related injuries, including asserted occupational disease claims, and third-party claims, including grade crossing, trespasser and property damage claims, the actuarial valuation considers, among other factors, the Company's historical patterns of claims filings and payments. For unasserted occupational disease claims, the actuarial study includes the projection of the Company's experience into the future considering the potentially exposed population. The Company adjusts its liability based upon management's assessment and the results of the study. On an ongoing basis, management reviews and compares the assumptions inherent in the latest actuarial study with the current claim experience and, if required, adjustments to the liability are recorded.

As at June 30, 2014, the Company had aggregate reserves for personal injury and other claims of $314 million, of which $49 million was recorded as a current liability ($316 million as at December 31, 2013, of which $45 million was recorded as a current liability).

Although the Company considers such provisions to be adequate for all its outstanding and pending claims, the final outcome with respect to actions outstanding or pending at June 30, 2014, or with respect to future claims, cannot be reasonably determined. When establishing provisions for contingent liabilities the Company considers, where a probable loss estimate cannot be made with reasonable certainty, a range of potential probable losses for each such matter, and records the amount it considers the most reasonable estimate within the range. However, when no amount within the range is a better estimate than any other amount, the minimum amount in the range is accrued. For matters where a loss is reasonably possible but not probable, a range of potential losses cannot be estimated due to various factors which may include the limited availability of facts, the lack of demand for specific damages and the fact that proceedings were at an early stage. Based on information currently available, the Company believes that the eventual outcome of the actions against the Company will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on the Company's consolidated financial position. However, due to the inherent inability to predict with certainty unforeseeable future developments, there can be no assurance that the ultimate resolution of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial position or liquidity in a particular quarter or fiscal year.

Environmental matters
The Company's operations are subject to numerous federal, provincial, state, municipal and local environmental laws and regulations in Canada and the U.S. concerning, among other things, emissions into the air; discharges into waters; the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste, hazardous substances, and other materials; decommissioning of underground and aboveground storage tanks; and soil and groundwater contamination. A risk of environmental liability is inherent in railroad and related transportation operations; real estate ownership, operation or control; and other commercial activities of the Company with respect to both current and past operations.

Known existing environmental concerns
The Company has identified approximately 270 sites at which it is or may be liable for remediation costs, in some cases along with other potentially responsible parties, associated with alleged contamination and is subject to environmental clean-up and enforcement actions, including those imposed by the United States Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund law, or analogous state laws. CERCLA and similar state laws, in addition to other similar Canadian and U.S. laws, generally impose joint and several liability for clean-up and enforcement costs on current and former owners and operators of a site, as well as those whose waste is disposed of at the site, without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct. The Company has been notified that it is a potentially responsible party for study and clean-up costs at approximately 10 sites governed by the Superfund law (and analogous state laws) for which investigation and remediation payments are or will be made or are yet to be determined and, in many instances, is one of several potentially responsible parties.

The ultimate cost of addressing these known contaminated sites cannot be definitely established given that the estimated environmental liability for any given site may vary depending on the nature and extent of the contamination; the nature of anticipated response actions, taking into account the available clean-up techniques; evolving regulatory standards governing environmental liability; and the number of potentially responsible parties and their financial viability. As a result, liabilities are recorded based on the results of a four-phase assessment conducted on a site-by-site basis. A liability is initially recorded when environmental assessments occur, remedial efforts are probable, and when the costs, based on a specific plan of action in terms of the technology to be used and the extent of the corrective action required, can be reasonably estimated. The Company estimates the costs related to a particular site using cost scenarios established by external consultants based on the extent of contamination and expected costs for remedial efforts. In the case of multiple parties, the Company accrues its allocable share of liability taking into account the Company's alleged responsibility, the number of potentially responsible parties and their ability to pay their respective share of the liability. Adjustments to initial estimates are recorded as additional information becomes available.

The Company's provision for specific environmental sites is undiscounted and includes costs for remediation and restoration of sites, as well as monitoring costs. Environmental expenses, which are classified as Casualty and other in the Consolidated Statement of Income, include amounts for newly identified sites or contaminants as well as adjustments to initial estimates. Recoveries of environmental remediation costs from other parties are recorded as assets when their receipt is deemed probable.

As at June 30, 2014, the Company had aggregate accruals for environmental costs of $119 million, of which $48 million was recorded as a current liability ($119 million as at December 31, 2013, of which $41 million was recorded as a current liability). The Company anticipates that the majority of the liability at June 30, 2014 will be paid out over the next five years. However, some costs may be paid out over a longer period. Based on the information currently available, the Company considers its provisions to be adequate.

Unknown existing environmental concerns
While the Company believes that it has identified the costs likely to be incurred for environmental matters in the next several years based on known information, the discovery of new facts, future changes in laws, the possibility of releases of hazardous materials into the environment and the Company's ongoing efforts to identify potential environmental liabilities that may be associated with its properties may result in the identification of additional environmental liabilities and related costs. The magnitude of such additional liabilities and the costs of complying with future environmental laws and containing or remediating contamination cannot be reasonably estimated due to many factors, including:

(a) the lack of specific technical information available with respect to many sites;
(b) the absence of any government authority, third-party orders, or claims with respect to particular sites;
(c) the potential for new or changed laws and regulations and for development of new remediation technologies and uncertainty regarding the timing of the work with respect to particular sites; and
(d) the determination of the Company's liability in proportion to other potentially responsible parties and the ability to recover costs from any third parties with respect to particular sites.


Therefore, the likelihood of any such costs being incurred or whether such costs would be material to the Company cannot be determined at this time. There can thus be no assurance that liabilities or costs related to environmental matters will not be incurred in the future, or will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial position or results of operations in a particular quarter or fiscal year, or that the Company's liquidity will not be adversely impacted by such liabilities or costs, although management believes, based on current information, that the costs to address environmental matters will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial position or liquidity. Costs related to any unknown existing or future contamination will be accrued in the period in which they become probable and reasonably estimable.

Guarantees and indemnifications
In the normal course of business, the Company, including certain of its subsidiaries, enters into agreements that may involve providing guarantees or indemnifications to third parties and others, which may extend beyond the term of the agreements. These include, but are not limited to, residual value guarantees on operating leases, standby letters of credit, surety and other bonds, and indemnifications that are customary for the type of transaction or for the railway business.

The Company is required to recognize a liability for the fair value of the obligation undertaken in issuing certain guarantees on the date the guarantee is issued or modified. In addition, where the Company expects to make a payment in respect of a guarantee, a liability will be recognized to the extent that one has not yet been recognized.

Guarantee of residual values of operating leases
The Company has guaranteed a portion of the residual values of certain of its assets under operating leases with expiry dates between 2014 and 2022, for the benefit of the lessor. If the fair value of the assets at the end of their respective lease term is less than the fair value, as estimated at the inception of the lease, then the Company must, under certain conditions, compensate the lessor for the shortfall. As at June 30, 2014, the maximum exposure in respect of these guarantees was $189 million. There are no recourse provisions to recover any amounts from third parties.

Other guarantees
As at June 30, 2014, the Company, including certain of its subsidiaries, had granted $491 million of irrevocable standby letters of credit and $92 million of surety and other bonds, issued by highly rated financial institutions, to third parties to indemnify them in the event the Company does not perform its contractual obligations. As at June 30, 2014, the maximum potential liability under these guarantee instruments was $583 million, of which $523 million related to workers' compensation and other employee benefit liabilities and $60 million related to other liabilities. The letters of credit were drawn on the Company's bilateral letter of credit facilities. The Company had not recorded a liability as at June 30, 2014 with respect to these guarantee instruments as they related to the Company's future performance and the Company did not expect to make any payments under these guarantee instruments. The majority of the guarantee instruments mature at various dates between 2014 and 2016.

General indemnifications
In the normal course of business, the Company has provided indemnifications, customary for the type of transaction or for the railway business, in various agreements with third parties, including indemnification provisions where the Company would be required to indemnify third parties and others. Indemnifications are found in various types of contracts with third parties which include, but are not limited to:

(a) contracts granting the Company the right to use or enter upon property owned by third parties such as leases, easements, trackage rights and sidetrack agreements;
(b) contracts granting rights to others to use the Company's property, such as leases, licenses and easements;
(c) contracts for the sale of assets;
(d) contracts for the acquisition of services;
(e) financing agreements;
(f) trust indentures, fiscal agency agreements, underwriting agreements or similar agreements relating to debt or equity securities of the Company and engagement agreements with financial advisors;
(g) transfer agent and registrar agreements in respect of the Company's securities;
(h) trust and other agreements relating to pension plans and other plans, including those establishing trust funds to secure payment to certain officers and senior employees of special retirement compensation arrangements;
(i) pension transfer agreements;
(j) master agreements with financial institutions governing derivative transactions;
(k) settlement agreements with insurance companies or other third parties whereby such insurer or third-party has been indemnified for any present or future claims relating to insurance policies, incidents or events covered by the settlement agreements; and
(l) acquisition agreements.


To the extent of any actual claims under these agreements, the Company maintains provisions for such items, which it considers to be adequate. Due to the nature of the indemnification clauses, the maximum exposure for future payments may be material. However, such exposure cannot be reasonably determined.

During the period, the Company entered into various indemnification contracts with third parties for which the maximum exposure for future payments cannot be reasonably determined. As a result, no liability was recorded. There are no recourse provisions to recover any amounts from third parties.

9 - Financial instruments
For financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis, fair value is the price the Company would receive to sell an asset or pay to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction with a market participant at the measurement date. In the absence of active markets for identical assets or liabilities, such measurements involve developing assumptions based on market observable data and, in the absence of such data, internal information that is believed to be consistent with what market participants would use in a hypothetical transaction that occurs at the measurement date. Observable inputs reflect market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs reflect the Company's market assumptions. Preference is given to observable inputs. These two types of inputs create the following fair value hierarchy:

Level 1: Quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets.
Level 2: Quoted prices for similar instruments in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active; and model-derived valuations whose inputs are observable or whose significant value drivers are observable.
Level 3: Significant inputs to the valuation model are unobservable.

The Company uses the following methods and assumptions to estimate the fair value of each class of financial instruments for which the carrying amounts are included in the Consolidated Balance Sheet under the following captions:

Cash and cash equivalents, Restricted cash and cash equivalents, Accounts receivable, Other current assets, Accounts payable and other
The carrying amounts approximate fair value because of the short maturity of these instruments. Cash and cash equivalents and Restricted cash and cash equivalents include highly liquid investments purchased three months or less from maturity and are classified as Level 1. Accounts receivable, Other current assets, and Accounts payable and other are classified as Level 2 as they may not be priced using quoted prices, but rather determined from market observable information.

Intangible and other assets
Included in Intangible and other assets are equity investments for which the carrying value approximates the fair value, with the exception of certain cost investments for which the fair value is estimated based on the Company's proportionate share of the underlying net assets. Investments are classified as Level 3 as their fair value is based on significant unobservable inputs.

Debt
The fair value of the Company's debt is estimated based on the quoted market prices for the same or similar debt instruments, as well as discounted cash flows using current interest rates for debt with similar terms, company rating, and remaining maturity. The Company's debt is classified as Level 2.

The following table provides the carrying amounts and estimated fair values of the Company's financial instruments as at June 30, 2014 and December 31, 2013 for which the carrying values on the Consolidated Balance Sheet are different from their fair values:

In millions   June 30, 2014     December 31, 2013

 
 
Carrying
amount
 
 
Fair
value
 
 
 
 
Carrying
amount
 
 
Fair
value
Financial assets                  
Investments $ 57 $ 168   $ 57 $ 164
Financial liabilities                  
Total debt $ 7,661 $ 8,799   $ 7,840 $ 8,683

10 - Earnings per share
The following table provides a reconciliation between basic and diluted earnings per share:

  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions, except per share data   2014   2013     2014   2013
Net income $ 847 $ 717   $ 1,470 $ 1,272
                   
Weighted-average shares outstanding   821.8   846.1     824.9   849.8
Effect of stock options   3.5   3.0     3.4   3.0
Weighted-average diluted shares outstanding   825.3   849.1     828.3   852.8
                   
Basic earnings per share $ 1.03 $ 0.85   $ 1.78 $ 1.50
Diluted earnings per share $ 1.03 $ 0.84   $ 1.77 $ 1.49

Basic earnings per share are calculated based on the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding over each period. Diluted earnings per share are calculated based on the weighted-average diluted shares outstanding using the treasury stock method, which assumes that any proceeds received from the exercise of in-the-money stock options would be used to purchase common shares at the average market price for the period.

11 - Accumulated other comprehensive loss
The components of Accumulated other comprehensive loss are as follows:

In millions   Foreign
currency
translation
adjustments
  Pension
and other
postretirement
benefit plans
  Derivative
instruments
  Total
before tax
  Income tax
recovery
(expense)
  Total
net of tax
Balance at March 31, 2014 $ (508) $ (1,482) $ 8 $ (1,982) $ 214 $ (1,768)
Other comprehensive income (loss) before reclassifications:                        
  Unrealized foreign exchange loss on translation of net investment in foreign operations   (257)           (257)   -   (257)
  Unrealized foreign exchange gain on translation of US dollar-denominated long-term debt designated as a hedge of the net investment in U.S. subsidiaries   227           227   (31)   196
Amounts reclassified from Accumulated other comprehensive loss:                        
  Amortization of net actuarial loss       29       29 (1) (7) (2) 22
  Amortization of prior service cost       1       1 (1) - (2) 1
Other comprehensive income (loss)   (30)   30   -   -   (38)   (38)
Balance at June 30, 2014 $ (538) $ (1,452) $ 8 $ (1,982) $ 176 $ (1,806)
                         
In millions   Foreign
currency
translation
adjustments
  Pension
and other
postretirement
benefit plans
  Derivative
instruments
  Total
before tax
  Income tax
recovery
(expense)
  Total
net of tax
Balance at December 31, 2013 $ (533) $ (1,515) $ 8 $ (2,040) $ 190 $ (1,850)
Other comprehensive income (loss) before reclassifications:                        
  Unrealized foreign exchange gain on translation of net investment in foreign operations    19           19   -   19
  Unrealized foreign exchange loss on translation of US dollar-denominated long-term debt designated as a hedge of the net investment in U.S. subsidiaries   (24)           (24)   1   (23)
Amounts reclassified from Accumulated other comprehensive loss:                        
  Amortization of net actuarial loss       60       60 (1) (15) (2) 45
  Amortization of prior service cost        3       3 (1) - (2) 3
Other comprehensive income (loss)   (5)   63   -   58   (14)   44
Balance at June 30, 2014 $ (538) $ (1,452) $ 8 $ (1,982) $ 176 $ (1,806)
(1) Reclassified to Labor and fringe benefits on the Consolidated Statement of Income and included in components of net periodic benefit cost. See Note 6 - Pensions and other postretirement benefits. 
(2) Included in Income tax expense on the Consolidated Statement of Income.

 

In millions   Foreign
currency
translation
adjustments
  Pension
and other
postretirement
benefit plans
  Derivative
instruments
  Total
before tax
  Income tax
recovery
(expense)
  Total
net of tax
Balance at March 31, 2013 $ (567) $ (3,230) $ 8 $ (3,789) $ 602 $ (3,187)
Other comprehensive income (loss) before reclassifications:                        
  Unrealized foreign exchange gain on translation of net investment in foreign operations   225           225   -   225
  Unrealized foreign exchange loss on translation of US dollar-denominated long-term debt designated as a hedge of the net investment in U.S. subsidiaries   (202)           (202)   28   (174)
Amounts reclassified from Accumulated other comprehensive loss:                        
  Amortization of net actuarial loss       54       54 (1) (13) (2) 41
  Amortization of prior service cost       2       2 (1) (1) (2) 1
Other comprehensive income   23   56   -   79   14   93
Balance at June 30, 2013 $ (544) $ (3,174) $ 8 $ (3,710) $ 616 $ (3,094)
                         
In millions   Foreign
currency
translation
adjustments
  Pension
and other
postretirement
benefit plans
  Derivative
instruments
  Total
before tax
  Income tax
recovery
(expense)
  Total
net of tax
Balance at December 31, 2012 $ (579) $ (3,290) $ 8 $ (3,861) $ 604 $ (3,257)
Other comprehensive income (loss) before reclassifications:                        
  Unrealized foreign exchange gain on translation of net investment in foreign operations   355           355   -   355
  Unrealized foreign exchange loss on translation of US dollar-denominated long-term debt designated as a hedge of the net investment in U.S. subsidiaries   (320)           (320)   42   (278)
Amounts reclassified from Accumulated other comprehensive loss:                        
  Amortization of net actuarial loss       113       113 (1) (29) (2) 84
  Amortization of prior service cost       3       3 (1) (1) (2) 2
Other comprehensive income   35   116   -   151   12   163
Balance at June 30, 2013 $ (544) $ (3,174) $ 8 $ (3,710) $ 616 $ (3,094)
(1) Reclassified to Labor and fringe benefits on the Consolidated Statement of Income and included in components of net periodic benefit cost. See Note 6 - Pensions and other postretirement benefits. 
(2) Included in Income tax expense on the Consolidated Statement of Income.


Selected Railroad Statistics - unaudited

   Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
  2014 2013   2014 2013
           
Statistical operating data          
Rail freight revenues ($ millions) (1) 2,942 2,493   5,520 4,848
Gross ton miles (GTM) (millions) 116,243 101,547   217,719 197,848
Revenue ton miles (RTM) (millions) 60,081 52,702   113,415 103,278
Carloads (thousands) 1,463 1,316   2,702 2,547
Route miles (includes Canada and the U.S.) 20,000 20,000   20,000 20,000
Employees (end of period) 24,875 23,925   24,875 23,925
Employees (average for the period) 24,565 23,926   24,161 23,681
           
Productivity          
Operating ratio (%) 59.6 60.9   64.2 64.5
Rail freight revenue per RTM (cents) (1) 4.90 4.73   4.87 4.69
Rail freight revenue per carload ($) (1) 2,011 1,894   2,043 1,903
Operating expenses per GTM (cents) 1.60 1.60   1.71 1.67
Labor and fringe benefits expense per GTM (cents) 0.48 0.49   0.53 0.54
GTMs per average number of employees (thousands) 4,732 4,244   9,011 8,355
Diesel fuel consumed (US gallons in millions) 112.3 103.5   219.2 205.2
Average fuel price ($/US gallon) 3.84 3.43   3.90 3.52
GTMs per US gallon of fuel consumed 1,035 981   993 964
           
Safety indicators          
Injury frequency rate (per 200,000 person hours) (2) 1.49 1.43   1.78 1.42
Accident rate (per million train miles) (2) 2.43 2.10   2.40 2.11
           
Financial ratio          
Debt-to-total capitalization ratio (% at end of period) (3) 36.5 39.6   36.5 39.6
Statistical data and related productivity measures are based on estimated data available at such time and are subject to change as more complete information becomes available, as such certain of the 2013 comparative statistical data and related productivity measures have been restated.

(1) In 2014, certain Other revenues were reclassified to the commodity groups within rail freight revenues. This change has no impact on the Company's previously reported results of operations as Total revenues remains unchanged. The 2013 comparative figures have been reclassified in order to be consistent with the 2014 presentation.
(2) Based on Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reporting criteria. 
(3) Debt-to-total capitalization is calculated as total long-term debt plus current portion of long-term debt, divided by the sum of total debt plus total shareholders' equity.


Supplementary Information - unaudited

  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
  2014 2013 % Change
Fav
(Unfav)
  % Change at
constant
currency
Fav (Unfav)
(2)
  2014 2013 % Change
Fav
(Unfav)
  % Change at
constant
currency
Fav (Unfav)
(2)
Revenues (millions of dollars) (1)                      
Petroleum and chemicals 564 481 17%   12%   1,132 942 20%   14%
Metals and minerals 370 309 20%   14%   678 597 14%   7%
Forest products 393 361 9%   4%   732 699 5%   (1%)
Coal 201 192 5%   2%   383 362 6%   2%
Grain and fertilizers 526 391 35%   31%   957 799 20%   15%
Intermodal 716 610 17%   15%   1,337 1,166 15%   12%
Automotive 172 149 15%   10%   301 283 6%   -
Total rail freight revenues 2,942 2,493 18%   14%   5,520 4,848 14%   9%
Other revenues 174 173 1%   (4%)   289 284 2%   (3%)
Total revenues 3,116 2,666 17%   13%   5,809 5,132 13%   8%
Revenue ton miles (millions)                      
Petroleum and chemicals 12,779 10,841 18%   18%   25,658 21,395 20%   20%
Metals and minerals 6,018 5,207 16%   16%   11,027 10,197 8%   8%
Forest products 7,582 7,543 1%   1%   14,137 14,809 (5%)   (5%)
Coal 5,733 5,945 (4%)   (4%)   11,027 11,285 (2%)   (2%)
Grain and fertilizers 14,073 10,442 35%   35%   25,386 21,451 18%   18%
Intermodal 13,048 11,989 9%   9%   24,709 22,736 9%   9%
Automotive 848 735 15%   15%   1,471 1,405 5%   5%
Total revenue ton miles 60,081 52,702 14%   14%   113,415 103,278 10%   10%
Rail freight revenue / RTM (cents) (1)                      
Petroleum and chemicals 4.41 4.44 (1%)   (5%)   4.41 4.40 -   (5%)
Metals and minerals 6.15 5.93 4%   (1%)   6.15 5.85 5%   (1%)
Forest products 5.18 4.79 8%   3%   5.18 4.72 10%   4%
Coal 3.51 3.23 9%   5%   3.47 3.21 8%   4%
Grain and fertilizers 3.74 3.74 -   (3%)   3.77 3.72 1%   (2%)
Intermodal 5.49 5.09 8%   6%   5.41 5.13 5%   3%
Automotive 20.28 20.27 -   (5%)   20.46 20.14 2%   (4%)
Total rail freight revenue per RTM 4.90 4.73 4%   -   4.87 4.69 4%   -
Carloads (thousands)                      
Petroleum and chemicals 160 149 7%   7%   321 300 7%   7%
Metals and minerals 267 274 (3%)   (3%)   474 518 (8%)   (8%)
Forest products 113 113 -   -   213 224 (5%)   (5%)
Coal 141 110 28%   28%   266 207 29%   29%
Grain and fertilizers 172 133 29%   29%   312 275 13%   13%
Intermodal 547 477 15%   15%   1,004 909 10%   10%
Automotive 63 60 5%   5%   112 114 (2%)   (2%)
Total carloads 1,463 1,316 11%   11%   2,702 2,547 6%   6%
Rail freight revenue / carload (dollars) (1)                      
Petroleum and chemicals 3,525 3,228 9%   5%   3,526 3,140 12%   7%
Metals and minerals 1,386 1,128 23%   17%   1,430 1,153 24%   17%
Forest products 3,478 3,195 9%   4%   3,437 3,121 10%   4%
Coal 1,426 1,745 (18%)   (21%)   1,440 1,749 (18%)   (21%)
Grain and fertilizers 3,058 2,940 4%   1%   3,067 2,905 6%   2%
Intermodal 1,309 1,279 2%   -   1,332 1,283 4%   2%
Automotive 2,730 2,483 10%   5%   2,688 2,482 8%   2%
Total rail freight revenue per carload 2,011 1,894 6%   3%   2,043 1,903 7%   3%
Statistical data and related productivity measures are based on estimated data available at such time and are subject to change as more complete information becomes available.

(1) In 2014, certain Other revenues were reclassified to the commodity groups within rail freight revenues. This change has no impact on the Company's previously reported results of operations as Total revenues remains unchanged. The 2013 comparative figures have been reclassified in order to be consistent with the 2014 presentation.       
(2) See supplementary schedule entitled Non-GAAP Measures for an explanation of this non-GAAP measure.


Non-GAAP Measures

Adjusted performance measures
For the three and six months ended June 30, 2014, the Company reported adjusted net income of $847 million, or $1.03 per diluted share and $1,398 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, respectively. The adjusted figures for the six months ended June 30, 2014 exclude a gain on disposal of the Deux-Montagnes subdivision, including the Mont-Royal tunnel, together with the rail fixtures, of $80 million, or $72 million after-tax ($0.09 per diluted share).

For the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, the Company reported adjusted net income of $704 million, or $0.83 per diluted share and $1,223 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, respectively. The adjusted figures for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013 exclude a gain on exchange of perpetual railroad operating easements including the track and roadway assets on specific rail lines of $29 million, or $18 million after-tax ($0.02 per diluted share) and an income tax expense of $5 million ($0.01 per diluted share) resulting from the enactment of higher provincial corporate income tax rates. The adjusted figures for the six months ended June 30, 2013 also exclude a gain on disposal of a segment of the Oakville subdivision, together with the rail fixtures and certain passenger agreements, of $40 million, or $36 million after-tax ($0.04 per diluted share).

Management believes that adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share are useful measures of performance that can facilitate period-to-period comparisons, as they exclude items that do not necessarily arise as part of the normal day-to-day operations of the Company and could distort the analysis of trends in business performance. The exclusion of such items in adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share does not, however, imply that such items are necessarily non-recurring. These adjusted measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The reader is advised to read all information provided in the Company's 2014 unaudited Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto. The following tables provide a reconciliation of net income and earnings per share, as reported for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013, to the adjusted performance measures presented herein.

  Three months ended June 30, 2014     Six months ended June 30, 2014
In millions, except per share data   Reported   Adjustments   Adjusted     Reported   Adjustments   Adjusted
Revenues $ 3,116 $ - $ 3,116   $ 5,809 $ - $ 5,809
Operating expenses   1,858   -   1,858     3,731   -   3,731
Operating income   1,258   -   1,258     2,078   -   2,078
Interest expense   (91)   -   (91)     (183)   -   (183)
Other income   2   -   2     96   (80)   16
Income before income taxes   1,169   -   1,169     1,991   (80)   1,911
Income tax expense   (322)   -   (322)     (521)   8   (513)
Net income $ 847 $ - $ 847   $ 1,470 $ (72) $ 1,398
Operating ratio   59.6%       59.6%     64.2%       64.2%
Effective tax rate   27.5%       27.5%     26.2%       26.8%
Basic earnings per share $ 1.03 $ - $ 1.03   $ 1.78 $ (0.09) $ 1.69
Diluted earnings per share $ 1.03 $ - $ 1.03   $ 1.77 $ (0.09) $ 1.68
                           
  Three months ended June 30, 2013     Six months ended June 30, 2013
In millions, except per share data   Reported   Adjustments   Adjusted     Reported   Adjustments   Adjusted
Revenues $ 2,666 $ - $ 2,666   $ 5,132 $ - $ 5,132
Operating expenses   1,624   -   1,624     3,310   -   3,310
Operating income   1,042   -   1,042     1,822   -   1,822
Interest expense   (88)   -   (88)     (177)   -   (177)
Other income (loss)   28   (29)   (1)     70   (69)   1
Income before income taxes   982   (29)   953     1,715   (69)   1,646
Income tax expense   (265)   16   (249)     (443)   20   (423)
Net income $ 717 $ (13) $ 704   $ 1,272 $ (49) $ 1,223
Operating ratio   60.9%       60.9%     64.5%       64.5%
Effective tax rate   27.0%       26.1%     25.8%       25.7%
Basic earnings per share $ 0.85 $ (0.01) $ 0.84   $ 1.50 $ (0.05) $ 1.45
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.84 $ (0.01) $ 0.83   $ 1.49 $ (0.05) $ 1.44

Constant currency
Although CN conducts its business and reports its earnings in Canadian dollars, a large portion of revenues and expenses is denominated in US dollars. As such, the Company's results are affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

Financial results at "constant currency" allow results to be viewed without the impact of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, thereby facilitating period-to-period comparisons in the analysis of trends in business performance. Measures at constant currency are considered non-GAAP measures and do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Financial results at constant currency are obtained by translating the current period results denominated in US dollars at the foreign exchange rates of the comparable period of the prior year. The average foreign exchange rates were $1.09 and $1.10 per US$1.00, respectively, for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 and $1.02 per US$1.00 for both the three and six months ended June 30, 2013.

On a constant currency basis, the Company's net income for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 would have been lower by $28 million, or $0.03 per diluted share and $54 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, respectively. The following table presents a reconciliation of 2014 net income as reported to net income on a constant currency basis:

  Three months ended   Six months ended
In millions June 30, 2014   June 30, 2014
Net income, as reported $ 847   $ 1,470
Impact due to the weakening Canadian dollar included in net income   (26)     (52)
Decrease due to the weakening Canadian dollar on additional year-over-year US$ net income   (2)     (2)
Impact of foreign exchange using constant currency rates   (28)     (54)
Net income, on a constant currency basis $ 819   $ 1,416


Free cash flow
Free cash flow does not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The Company believes that free cash flow is a useful measure of performance as it demonstrates the Company's ability to generate cash for debt obligations and for discretionary uses such as payment of dividends and strategic opportunities.

The Company defines its free cash flow measure as the difference between net cash provided by operating activities and net cash used in investing activities; adjusted for changes in restricted cash and cash equivalents and the impact of major acquisitions, if any.

  Three months ended June 30   Six months ended June 30
In millions   2014     2013     2014     2013
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 1,273   $ 1,063   $ 1,918 $   1,384
Net cash used in investing activities   (494)     (411)     (668)     (572)
Net cash provided before financing activities   779     652     1,250     812
                       
Adjustment:                      
  Change in restricted cash and cash equivalents   (3)     (15)     20     (24)
Free cash flow $ 776   $ 637   $ 1,270 $   788

SOURCE CN

For further information:

Media
Mark Hallman
Director
Communications and Public Affairs
(905) 669-3384

Investment Community
Janet Drysdale
Vice-President
Investor Relations
(514) 399-0052