SOURCE: BNSF Railway Company

January 23, 2007 10:00 ET

BNSF Announces $2.75 Billion Capital Commitment Program; Over $750 Million Slated for Track/Facilities Expansion in 2007

FORT WORTH, TX -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 23, 2007 -- BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) today announced its planned $2.75 billion capital commitment program for 2007. BNSF anticipates investing over $750 million in track and facilities to expand capacity -- for customers in coal, agricultural products, industrial products and intermodal -- to meet unprecedented demand for consistent freight rail service.

Matthew K. Rose, BNSF Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, pointed out that, "We are able to sustain increases in our capital commitment program to meet both the current demand for freight rail transportation as well as forecasted future volume growth because of continuous improvement in our returns. For 2006, BNSF's Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) was a record 11.4 percent, a significant improvement from 10.1 percent in 2005 and 7.9 percent in 2004."

Rose added that, "For 2007, BNSF currently expects to spend more than $1.6 billion to keep our infrastructure strong by refreshing track, signal systems, structures, rebuilding rolling stock, and implementing new technologies -- an increase of about $50 million over 2006. Total 2007 cash capital commitments are expected to be $2.4 billion. In addition, we plan to lease 200 locomotives with a cost of about $350 million."

Some of the major 2007 capacity expansion programs are:

--  Southern Transcon -- Double- or triple-track about 40 miles and
    continue building a second main line across Abo Canyon in New Mexico;
--  Coal Route -- Add about 60 miles of third and fourth main track on the
    Powder River Basin Joint Line and complete about 50 miles of double track
    in Nebraska and Wyoming;
--  Southeast -- Multiple sidings between Springfield, Mo., and
    Birmingham, Ala.;
--  Intermodal Facilities -- Expansions at Alliance, Texas; Seattle; Los
    Angeles; Memphis; Chicago, and Stockton, Cal.; and
--  Other Infrastructure -- Sidings in South Dakota and Oklahoma; fueling
    and mechanical facilities in North Dakota, Illinois and Texas.
    
A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (NYSE: BNI), BNSF Railway Company operates one of the largest North American rail networks, with about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is among the world's top transporters of intermodal traffic, moves more grain than any other American railroad, carries the components of many of the products we depend on daily, and hauls enough low-sulphur coal to generate about ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States. BNSF is an industry leader in Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at www.bnsf.com.

BNSF's ROIC, as discussed above, is a non-GAAP measure and should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute or preferable to, other information prepared in accordance with GAAP. However, the information is included herein as management believes that ROIC provides meaningful information that can be useful in assessing the long-term performance of the Company's business and in evaluating potential strategic transactions. Below is the calculation of ROIC for the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005, and 2004.

Return on Invested Capital Reconciliation       2006      2005      2004
                                              --------  --------  --------
Average capitalization (a)                    $ 21,199  $ 19,831  $ 19,069

Operating income                              $  3,517  $  2,922  $  1,686
Other expense                                      (40)      (37)       (4)
Financing charges (b)                              370       305       274
Exclude 2004 charge for change in
 environmental and asbestos estimate                 -         -       465
Taxes (c)                                       (1,438)   (1,196)     (917)
                                              --------  --------  --------
     After-tax income excluding financing
      charges and 2004 charge                 $  2,409  $  1,994  $  1,504
                                              ========  ========  ========

Return on invested capital (d)                    11.4%     10.1%      7.9%

(a) Average capitalization is calculated as the 13-month moving average of
    the sum of net debt (total debt less cash and cash equivalents),
    stockholders’ equity, net present value of future operating lease
    commitments, and the receivables sold under the accounts receivable
    sales program (A/R sales).
(b) Financing charges represent the estimated interest expense included in
    operating lease payments and A/R sales fees.
(c) Taxes are calculated as the sum of monthly net operating income, other
    expense, A/R sales, and an operating lease interest factor (estimated
    interest expense included in operating lease payments) multiplied by a
    federal tax rate respective to each month.
(d) Return on invested capital is calculated as the total after-tax income
    excluding financing charges and 2004 charge divided by average
    capitalization.
Statements made in this release concerning predictions or expectations of financial or operational performance, including the Company's planned capital commitment program, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from that projected in those statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: material adverse changes in economic or industry conditions, both in the United States and globally, changes in customer demand that might cause future volumes to be less than anticipated, effects of adverse economic conditions in the industries and geographical areas that produce and consume goods or commodities transported by rail, changes in fuel prices, changes in the securities and capital markets, labor costs and labor difficulties, including stoppages affecting either BNSF Railway Company's operations or our customers' abilities to deliver goods to BNSF for shipment, changes in operating conditions and costs, changes in laws and regulations affecting train operations or the marketing of rail services, and natural events such as severe weather, floods and earthquakes or man-made or other disruptions of BNSF Railway Company's operating systems, structures, or equipment.

The Company cautions against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect its current beliefs and are based on information currently available to it as of the date a forward-looking statement is made. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs. In the event the Company does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that the Company will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statements. Any corrections or revisions may appear in the Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are accessible at www.sec.gov and on the Company's website at www.bnsf.com, and which investors are advised to consult.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Richard Russack
    (817) 867-6425