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WISCONSIN CENTRAL REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME OF $1.4 MILLION

 WISCONSIN CENTRAL REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER
 NET INCOME OF $1.4 MILLION
 Improvement Due Primarily To Lower Operating and Interest Expenses
 CHICAGO, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation (WCTC) (NASDAQ: WCLX) today reported record first quarter net income of $1,448,000 for 1992, an increase of 87.8 percent from the $771,000 in the same period last year. The company attributed the improvement primarily to reduced operating expenses and sharply lower interest expense.
 Per-share earnings increased 21.1 percent to 23 cents from 19 cents a year ago. The proportionately larger percentage increase in net income reflects a 60.4 percent increase in the number of common shares outstanding, resulting from the company's initial public offering of 2,415,000 shares in May 1991.
 Operating revenues for the first quarter of 1992 were $28.6 million, versus $29.3 million for the same period a year ago. Operating expenses for the first quarter were $24.1 million, down $1.2 million or 4.7 percent from 1991. Operating income of $4.5 million for the first quarter, 1992, increased by $0.5 million from the prior year. The company's operating ratio (operating expenses divided by operating revenues) for the first quarter of 1992 was 84.2 percent, versus 86.2 percent for the same quarter of 1991.
 Edward Burkhardt, WCTC's president said, "Despite a slight decline in operating revenues, net income has risen sharply as a result of decreased operating expenses brought about by cost control measures, and lower interest expense."
 WCTC's operating revenues in the first quarter were $0.7 million below last year. Contributing to this decrease was a first quarter 1991 iron ore shipment of about $0.7 million in gross revenues, which did not repeat in the first quarter of 1992. Operating revenues for 1992 were also affected by softness in woodpulp and pulpboard shipments. Partially offsetting these decreases was $1.0 million in incremental gross revenue resulting from the Ladysmith-Superior line, which WCTC acquired in December, 1991.
 Declines in joint facility and fuel expenses contributed to the $1.2 million reduction in operating expenses from the first quarter, 1991. Joint facility expense declined by $0.7 million or 73.6 percent, partially due to the elimination of charges for trackage rights on the Ladysmith Line. The reduction in diesel fuel expense was primarily due to a return to more normal pricing from the unusually high prices that prevailed during the Gulf War cris ?a year ago.
 Also contributing to WCTC's record results in first quarter 1992 was a decline in interest expense of $1.0 million, or 28.6 percent from the same period last year. The decline was primarily due to a $36.2 million repayment of debt using the proceeds of the company's initial public offering in the second quarter of 1991.
 Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation is publicly traded on the NASDAQ national market system under the ticker symbol WCLX. The company's principal subsidiary, Wisconsin Central Ltd., operates more than 2,000 miles of railroad serving Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Ontario.
 WISCONSIN CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION RESULTS
 Quarter Ended
 3/31/92 3/31/91
 Operating revenues $28,618,000 $29,328,000
 Net income $1,448,000 $771,000
 Average number of common shares 6,415,000 4,000,000
 Earnings per common share $0.23 $0.19
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Tom Power of Wisconsin Central Transportation, 708-318-4602/
 (WCLX) CO: Wisconsin Central Transportation ST: Wisconsin IN: TRN SU: ERN


MA -- MN004 -- 6426 05/05/92 09:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
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