Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
OPERATOR: Good morning and welcome ladies and gentlemen to the RailAmerica 2005 financial guidance conference call. At this time, I'd like to inform you that all participants are in a listen-only mode. At the request of the Company, we will open up the conference call for question and answers after the presentation. I will now turn the conference over to Ms. Susan Greenfield, Assistant Vice President of Investor Relations at RailAmerica. Please go ahead.
SUSAN GREENFIELD, I.R., RAILAMERICA: Thank you, Jeanne. Good morning, everyone. With us today is Charlie Swinburn, Chief Executive Officer of RailAmerica and Mike Howe, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. As a reminder, this conference call contains forward-looking statements about RailAmerica's future that are not statements of historical fact and are based on current information and/or management's good faith belief as to future events. Forward-looking statements regarding future events and the performance of RailAmerica are subject to several risks and uncertainties that could cause its actual results to differ materially.
In addition, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statement was made and the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. We refer you to page 2 of the presentation, which discusses forward-looking statements and forecasts, as well as to the documents that RailAmerica files periodically with the SEC, such as the Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K which contain additional important factors that could cause its actual results to differ from its current expectations and from the forward-looking statements contained in this conference call. As information (ph) RailAmerica files an 8-K this morning.
Today's call will be limited to financial results projected for 2005 and will not contain 2004 comparative information. This morning, we would like to reaffirm the fourth quarter earnings guidance of 10 cents to 14 cents per share that we provided on our third-quarter earnings call on October 28, 2004. We will be reporting our fourth-quarter 2004 results on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, and will have a conference call and webcast that morning. I would now like to turn the call over to Charlie Swinburn.
CHARLES SWINBURN, CEO, RAILAMERICA: Thank you, Susan, good morning, everybody. I would like to begin on page 3 of our slide presentation with our 2005 priorities. I'm going to talk about these for a few minutes, and the first thing I would like to say is that, even though the words we have used in these priorities are the kind of words that are often used by corporate management and would appear to be somewhat academic in nature, they are not that. This is not a cosmetic list of priorities.
By translating these priorities into numerical objectives and then folding them into our business plan, into the development of our management goals and objectives that we use for evaluation purposes from top to bottom of the organization, and by folding them into our annual bonus plan as metrics upon which I and the other managers will be judged at the end of the year, we have turned these priorities I think into meaningful statements of what we want to do and hope to do in 2005.
To add a little meat to the bones of the slide that you're looking at, providing superior customer service is where we view it all as beginnings. If we don't do a good job for the customers, we don't get the traffic and we cannot begin to earn a return for our shareholders. We are stretching with our marketing people here at headquarters, our marketing people here in the regions, our salesmen in the fields that we want them to listen to their customers, to be proactive in addressing their customers' issues, to encourage the operations people to make business decisions that are in the customers' best interests. And we are making sure that our operations people deliver consistent, innovative and reliable service so the customers will not just com back, but will increase the amount they ship with us.
Maintaining a safe and rewarding work environment starts with safety, and I have pledged to our employees in numerous meetings around the country and I will be continuing to do so this year that we value their safety above all other considerations.
I think it's often said that safety pays; I firmly believe that, and I think our management firmly believes that. In this industry more than most other industries, I think that is a very safe statement to make.
As far as providing a rewarding work environment, we tell our employees we're willing to reward hard work and creativity. We have a profit-sharing program that goes down to all levels of the operational side of the organization and our railroads. Our people in the field know that if they produce profits for the shareholders, they're going to take more money home in their paycheck at the end of every quarter.
A big emphasis this year is on maintaining open two-way communications between our employees and our managers. We think we have probably been lax in that regard in the past; we had made communication a heavy emphasis this year. Levering the strength …