BNSF's Earnings Tumble

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Railway operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter profits before unusual items fell to $472 million, reports a wire service.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based transport giant, the No. 2 U.S. railroad behind Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP - news), said per-share net profits fell to 46 cents from 65 cents a year earlier.

Excluding unusual items, earnings were 57 cents a share in the latest period. Wall Street had expected profits of 54 cents to 60 cents a share, with a consensus forecast of 56 cents, according to a survey of nine analysts by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Revenues fell to $2.3 billion from $2.34 billion a year earlier, in part because of the loss of a major transport contract with giant automaker General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM - news).