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Analysts had indicated a rebound in Canadian rail traffic through much of the second quarter, driven by a healthy recovery in the North American economy from last year’s pandemic-induced lows.Todd Korol/Reuters

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. topped quarterly profit estimates on Wednesday, boosted by a recovery from the pandemic-led slump in freight volumes.

Analysts had indicated a rebound in Canadian rail traffic through much of the second quarter, driven by a healthy recovery in the North American economy from last year’s pandemic-induced lows.

“Despite near term headwinds – forex, fuel pricing, network fire disruptions – we continue to view both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific as well situated to further benefit from ongoing recovery tailwinds,” Raymond James analyst Steve Hansen said in a pre-earnings note.

Canadian Pacific’s operating ratio, a measure of operating expenses as a percentage of revenue, rose to 60.1 per cent in the second quarter from 57 per cent a year earlier. A lower operating ratio signals improved profitability.

Total carloads – the volume of freight loaded into cars during a specified period – rose 14.6 per cent, boosted by higher coal, automotive, metal, minerals and intermodal shipments.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.03 per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.01 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue rose to $2.05-billion from $1.79-billion.

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