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Rail News: CSX Transportation

CSX posts Q2 revenue, profit gains as restructuring continues


CSX Corp. reported second-quarter net earnings rose 15 percent to $510 million from $445 million during the same period last year, as the Class I continued its restructuring under President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison.

Q2 earnings per share increased to 55 cents for the quarter from 47 cents a year ago. Without a $122 million restructuring charge taken during the quarter, the Class I's adjusted earnings per share was 64 cents, CSX officials said in a press release.

The Class I's second-quarter operating income jumped 14 percent to $958 million from $840 million last year.

Second-quarter revenue climbed 8 percent to $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion a year ago, with growth across nearly all markets. The growth was driven primarily by coal-related gains, strength in core pricing, volume across other markets and increased fuel recovery.

During the quarter, CSX improved its asset utilization, cost controls and fuel optimization. Those improvements, coupled with the management restructuring completed early in the second quarter, resulted in $90 million worth of efficiency gains.

CSX posted an operating ratio of 67.4 percent for the quarter compared with 68.9 percent a year ago.

CSX is "intensely focused" on implementing Harrison's precision-scheduled railroading methods throughout the system, company officials said. As a result, the Class I is on track to achieve record efficiency gains and a step-function improvement in key financial measures for the year given continued growth and stable coal markets.

“Although there still remains a lot to be done, we are confident that these initiatives will drive improved customer service, greater resource efficiency and superior shareholder value," Harrison said.

Adjusted for restructuring charges, the company continues to expect to drive a full-year operating ratio in the mid-60s, earnings per share growth of around 25 percent off the 2016 reported base of $1.81, and free cash flow before dividends of around $1.5 billion.

As a result, CSX's board authorized an additional $500 million for the current share repurchase program, which now totals $1.5 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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