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CSX delivers quarterly profit in line with Wall Street views

January 16, 2019
FILE- In this April 26, 2018, file photo, a CSX Transportation locomotive pulls a train of tank cars across a bridge on the Hudson River along the edge of Bear Mountain State Park, near Fort Montgomery, N.Y. CSX Corp. reports financial results Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
FILE- In this April 26, 2018, file photo, a CSX Transportation locomotive pulls a train of tank cars across a bridge on the Hudson River along the edge of Bear Mountain State Park, near Fort Montgomery, N.Y. CSX Corp. reports financial results Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX Corp. delivered a fourth-quarter profit of $843 million, which was lower than last year when tax reforms were approved but in line with Wall Street expectations.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Wednesday it earned $1.01 per share net income in the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That’s down from last year’s $4.14 billion, or $4.62 per share, which was affected by tax reforms and restructuring charges. Without last year’s one-time gains, CSX said earned 64 cents per share in fourth quarter 2017.

CSX’s profits were in line with the $1.01 earnings per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted.

CSX is nearly two years into an operational overhaul that began under previous CEO Hunter Harrison, who died in December 2017. His successor, Jim Foote, says there are still many opportunities to reduce expenses and improve operations at CSX. He says those will allow it to haul more volume with fewer locomotives and employees by operating on a tighter schedule.

“The CSX transformation story is still early,” Foote said.

The freight railroad posted revenue of $3.14 billion in the period, surpassing Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.13 billion.

CSX said it hauled 3 percent more carloads of freight in the fourth quarter.

Edward Jones analyst Dan Sherman said CSX delivered solid profits 2018, and he expects it to continue improving its operations, which will help it increase the shipping rates it charges.

The railroad announced a new $5 billion stock repurchase program Wednesday after its previous buyback program was completed earlier than expected.

CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.

CSX slipped $1.73, or about 2.6 percent, to $63.65 in after-market trading following the earnings report. Through the close of regular-session trading Wednesday, CSX’s shares are up 12.5 percent in the past 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CSX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CSX

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