BNSF Responds to Soft Economy

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation

    FORT WORTH, Texas, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Burlington Northern Santa Fe
 Corporation (NYSE:   BNI) (BNSF) today announced a number of actions in response
 to the continuing softness in the U. S. economy that is resulting in a flat
 year-over-year freight revenue outlook.  The actions are to:
     --  Eliminate approximately $100 million of planned 2001 capital and other
         investments, primarily for certain expansion and discretionary
         projects; and
     --  Implement initiatives to lower ongoing quarterly operating expenses by
         about $20 million.
 
     "These actions are necessary," said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF President and
 Chief Executive Officer, "because of continued softness in the overall U.S.
 economy, especially industrial production, and weakening consumer confidence.
 We need to align our spending with our revenue forecast for the balance of
 2001 to protect our goal of improving free cash flow, while providing our
 customers with the service they require."
 
     BNSF Announces First-Quarter Charges and Earnings per Share Expectation
     BNSF also announced approximately $40 million of non-recurring, after-tax
 expenses for the write-down of certain non-rail investments.  BNSF's first-
 quarter results, to be announced on April 24, 2001, will include charges for:
     --  FreightWise, an Internet transportation exchange;
     --  Pathnet, a telecommunications venture; and
     --  A portfolio of other non-core real-estate investments.
 
     In addition, first-quarter results will include an after-tax $6 million
 extraordinary charge on the early extinguishment of debt.
     "Without these charges, we expect first quarter earnings per share to be
 within the range of analysts' expectations but slightly below consensus," Rose
 pointed out.
     Through its subsidiary, The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway
 Company, BNSF operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America,
 with 33,500 route miles covering 28 states and two Canadian provinces.
     Forward-looking Information.  This news release contains forward-looking
 information, including data concerning revenues, earnings, free cash flow and
 capital spending expectations.  Forward-looking statements involve a number of
 risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
 from those projected in the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include,
 but are not limited to, general economic downturns, which may limit demand and
 pricing; labor matters, which may affect the costs and feasibility of certain
 operations; competition and commodity concentration, which may affect traffic
 and pricing levels; and adverse weather conditions and unforeseen events,
 which may affect operations and capital needs.
 
 

SOURCE Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation
    FORT WORTH, Texas, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Burlington Northern Santa Fe
 Corporation (NYSE:   BNI) (BNSF) today announced a number of actions in response
 to the continuing softness in the U. S. economy that is resulting in a flat
 year-over-year freight revenue outlook.  The actions are to:
     --  Eliminate approximately $100 million of planned 2001 capital and other
         investments, primarily for certain expansion and discretionary
         projects; and
     --  Implement initiatives to lower ongoing quarterly operating expenses by
         about $20 million.
 
     "These actions are necessary," said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF President and
 Chief Executive Officer, "because of continued softness in the overall U.S.
 economy, especially industrial production, and weakening consumer confidence.
 We need to align our spending with our revenue forecast for the balance of
 2001 to protect our goal of improving free cash flow, while providing our
 customers with the service they require."
 
     BNSF Announces First-Quarter Charges and Earnings per Share Expectation
     BNSF also announced approximately $40 million of non-recurring, after-tax
 expenses for the write-down of certain non-rail investments.  BNSF's first-
 quarter results, to be announced on April 24, 2001, will include charges for:
     --  FreightWise, an Internet transportation exchange;
     --  Pathnet, a telecommunications venture; and
     --  A portfolio of other non-core real-estate investments.
 
     In addition, first-quarter results will include an after-tax $6 million
 extraordinary charge on the early extinguishment of debt.
     "Without these charges, we expect first quarter earnings per share to be
 within the range of analysts' expectations but slightly below consensus," Rose
 pointed out.
     Through its subsidiary, The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway
 Company, BNSF operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America,
 with 33,500 route miles covering 28 states and two Canadian provinces.
     Forward-looking Information.  This news release contains forward-looking
 information, including data concerning revenues, earnings, free cash flow and
 capital spending expectations.  Forward-looking statements involve a number of
 risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
 from those projected in the forward-looking statements.  Such factors include,
 but are not limited to, general economic downturns, which may limit demand and
 pricing; labor matters, which may affect the costs and feasibility of certain
 operations; competition and commodity concentration, which may affect traffic
 and pricing levels; and adverse weather conditions and unforeseen events,
 which may affect operations and capital needs.
 
 SOURCE  Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation