Kansas City Southern may update guidance due to coronavirus

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Kansas City Southern may update guidance next month based on how coronavirus evolves.
David C. Lester

At a Bank of America investor conference, Kansas City Southern reported that it’s financial targets and guidance may change next month, based on the U.S. response to the coronavirus. Mike Upchurch, KCS’s Chief Financial Officer, said “We’re going to need the next 30 days to see what’s going to happen to our end markets.”

KCS has been evaluating potential outcomes of the pandemic, including a recession, has business continuity contingency plans, and has been making efforts to ensure that employee health is protected through cleaning and safety programs.

KCS CEO Pat Ottensmeyer said “There is nothing we have done in the last week or two weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic that should slow down or interfere with our ability to continue the momentum we have shown on PSR-related savings.”

FreightWaves reports intermodal traffic from China has dropped 41%, and 19% from South Korea, due to COVID-19. However, CFO Upchurch said that “It’s hard to determine exactly how long that will last, but at this point we’re seeing manufacturing ramp up again in China, so the 30 to 45 days will give us a good idea of whether we’ll return to normal traffic patterns.”

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