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CSX Corporation owns companies providing rail, inter-modal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network connects more than 70 river, ocean and lake ports, as well as 200 short line railroads. CSX Corporation was founded in 1827 and is based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Shares of CSX have been on a roll since Mar 17 when the company announced that it was expecting its first quarter profit to rise between 42% and 48%. CSX is now expecting profit to be between 74 and 77 cents, which includes a 4 cents per share gain related to the sale of real estate. Shares had been trading right around $48 at the time, and have since advanced beyond $58, representing a very impressive short-term gain of more than 20%.
This announcement comes on the heels of the company's already impressive fourth quarter results, reported on Jan 22. Revenue was up 7% to $2.58 billion. Net income totaled $365 million, up 5% from the same period last year when income was $347 million. This produced earnings of 86 cents per share, well ahead of analyst expectations of 64 cents.
CSX reported a nice jump in growth in its surface transportation business, producing a 26% increase in its operating income to $2.2 billion. The company added that it benefited from improved safety, which enabled it adjust its reserves for personal injury.
Although CSX is operating in an energy intensive environment that is presenting unique challenges to its prosperity, the company said that it has benefited from increased shipping demand of high-demand products such as agricultural products, chemicals and fertilizers.
This marks the third time in three quarters that the company has surprised and beaten analyst estimates, having done so by an average of 11 cents, or 16.7%.
Full-year income for CSX totaled $1.23 billion, producing earnings of $2.99 per share, up from earnings of $2.82 per share last year. Full-year revenue grew to $10.03 billion from $9.57 billion last year.
With all of the good news rolling in like a freight train, the company's share price has been on quite a ride lately. For the year, share are up close to 30%, an impressive gain in any environment and even more impressive in this tepid economic environment.
Looking ahead, the key to the chart is the resistance level just above $58. This area is the 52-week high and all-time high, and has been tested numerous times over the last two weeks. With the up trend continuing to maintain its strength, it should only be a matter of time before this stock advances beyond this area and into uncharted territory. CSX reports its first quarter results on Apr 15.
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