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UPDATE 1-Canadian Pacific Railway misses profit estimates as costs rise

(Adds estimates, key metrics)

April 23 (Reuters) – Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd missed analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday, as the railroad operator’s expenses rose.

Canada’s challenging winter conditions extended to February, with a winter storm dumping heavy snow and ice pellets on the most populated parts of the country, closing schools and paralyzing transportation.

Overall operating expenses increased 9 percent to C$1.22 billion ($908.4 million) in the first quarter.

CP’s operating ratio, a closely watched productivity metric that measures expenses as a percentage of revenue, rose 180 basis points to 69.3 percent. The lower the ratio, the more efficient a railroad.

“This past winter was one of the most challenging in my railroading career,” Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel said in a statement.

Total carloads, the amount of freight loaded into cars during a specified period, fell 2 percent in the first quarter, the company said.

However, revenue in the energy, chemicals and plastics segment, which also contains its crude-by-rail shipments, rose 23 percent to C$315 million.

Canadian railroad operators are reaping the benefits of oil producers looking for alternatives to ship booming production in the backdrop of pipeline congestion.

The company said net income rose to C$434 million, or C$3.09 per share, in the three months ended March 31, from C$348 million, or C$2.41 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, CP earned C$2.79 per share, missing analysts’ average estimate of C$3.01, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The Calgary-based company’s revenue rose 6.3 percent to C$1.77 billion. ($1 = 1.3430 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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