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Rail News: CSX Transportation
CSX's 3Q profit dips due to lower volumes, fuel costs; achieves record operating ratio
CSX Corp.'s third-quarter net earnings dipped slightly to $507 million versus $509 million, while revenue declined 9 percent as price gains were offset by lower fuel costs, declining volumes and ongoing transition in the business mix, the Class I announced yesterday.
Still, CSX's third-quarter earnings per share came in at 52 cents, up a penny compared with a year ago and beating analysts' expectations.
Also falling in the third-quarter were expenses, which declined 11 percent due to lower fuel prices, cost-cutting and efficiency initiatives. As a result, the company's $933 million in operating income drove a third-quarter record operating ratio of 68.3 percent.
"CSX's third-quarter results demonstrate the company's ability to leverage improving service while controlling costs in a dynamic environment where commodity prices and the strength of the U.S. dollar are challenging many of our markets," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward in a press release. "Our performance supports strong pricing and continued efficiency gains as we continue to drive value for customers and shareholders."
CSX is continuing to target full-year expectations for earnings per share growth in the mid-single digits and meaningful margin expansion as it advances toward its goal of a full-year operating ratio in the mid-60s, company officials said.
The company is sticking with those goals despite facing continuing headwinds in the coal market. CSX expects 2015 coal revenue to decline $450 million due to low natural gas prices and high inventory levels. Domestic coal volume is expected to decline by more than 10 percent in 2015, while the full-year outlook for export coal volume remains at about 30 million tons.
"These significant coal headwinds are now also expected to continue in 2016," CSX officials said.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.