CSX Corp. posted first-quarter 2012 net income of $449 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with $395 million, or 35 cents per share, in the same period a year ago, the company announced yesterday.
The quarter’s net earnings per share represented a 23 percent year-over-year improvement, CSX officials said in a prepared statement.
"CSX is off to a fast start in a year that will be dynamic and challenging," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward. "A significant majority of our transportation markets are performing very well and our operations are delivering excellent results."
Revenue rose 6 percent to nearly $3 billion, driven by increased volume, pricing gains and fuel recovery. Overall volume edged up 1 percent in the quarter compared with a year ago. Increased shipments in merchandise and intermodal more than offset the decline in the company's utility coal business, company officials said.
Higher revenue, coupled with the company's focus on service, productivity and cost control, drove an 11 percent increase in operating income to a first-quarter record of $856 million and a first-quarter record operating ratio of 71.1 percent, a 140 basis point improvement year-over-year, they said.
"Although utility coal-related headwinds are likely to be stronger in the second quarter, CSX remains on track to achieve year-over-year earnings growth in 2012," Ward said.
Overall expenses rose 4 percent, driven primarily by fuel expenses, which increased 10 percent compared with first-quarter 2011, CSX officials said in an earnings conference call this morning. Minus fuel, expenses were up 2 percent.
The Class I is on track to produce a 65 percent operating ratio by 2015, said Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Fredrik Eliasson.
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