CSX 3Q profit slips four per cent

AP – CSX’s profit declined four per cent in the third quarter, but tight cost controls helped the railroad weather a five per cent decline in volume.

The Jacksonville, Florida, based railroad said it earned USD856 million, or USD1.08 per share, during the quarter. That was down from last year’s USD894 million, or USD1.05 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected CSX to report earnings of USD1.01 per share.

The railroad’s revenue decreased five per cent to USD2.98 billion, which was roughly in line with analyst expectations.

CSX said its expenses declined eight per cent to USD1.69 billion in the quarter as it continued working to improve efficiency.

Edward Jones analyst Jeff Windau noted that CSX found ways to improve operations, even with volume declining.

“It was a really solid quarter for them,” Windau said.

CSX Corp is more than two years into an operational overhaul designed to enable the railroad to handle more volume with fewer locomotives and employees by operating on a tighter schedule.

“We think we have opportunities to continue to improve on the efficiency side,” CEO Jim Foote said.

CSX’s shares have climbed 11 per cent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen 19 per cent. Its stock was up 4.4 per cent to USD72 in extended trading following the release of the earnings report.

The railroad operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian province.

A CSX locomotive rests on railroad tracks at a rail yard, in Framingham, Mass. PHOTO: AP