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Rail News: CSX Transportation

CSX struggles to overcome soaring operational costs during the fourth quarter, 2003


CSX Corp. was able to overcome some rising operational costs in 2003 — a year that included management cuts and senior staff shuffling — but not much. On Jan. 27, CSX reported fourth-quarter surface transportation revenue of $1.9 billion, an $80 million increase compared with the same 2002 period.

However, quarterly net income of $123 million fell $14 million, operating income of $274 million decreased $44 million and total revenue of $1.95 billion dropped $110 million compared with fourth-quarter 2002. Also, CSX Transportation's quarterly operating ratio of 86.8 worsened 2.3 points compared with the same 2002 period

For all of 2003, CSX's operating revenue of $7.79 billion fell $362 million, operating income of $626 million decreased $501 million and operating expenses of $7.16 billion increased $142 million compared with 2002. In addition, CSXT's annual operating ratio of 87.9 worsened 1.8 points.

"CSX saw tremendous revenue growth in the fourth quarter and throughout 2003. This growth reflects a strengthening economy, aggressive efforts to win modal conversions and innovative service products that better adapt to customer needs," said CSX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and CSX Transportation President Michael Ward in a prepared statement. "However, because these positive trends were offset by continued high operational costs, we remain keenly focused on improving our cost structure and restoring our higher service levels that we've seen in the recent past."

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More News from 1/27/2004