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CSX to Report Q3 Earnings: Will Volume Softness Mar Results?

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CSX Corporation (CSX - Free Report) is scheduled to report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 20, after the closing bell.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s third-quarter earnings has been revised downward by 2 cents in the past 60 days. However, the company has an impressive earnings history having outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missing once.

Factors to Note

Weakness in volumes, due to the Delta-variant-led spike in coronavirus cases and Hurricane Ida-related woes, might have hurt CSX’s third-quarter performance. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for intermodal volumes indicates a 1.1% dip from the second-quarter reported figure. The same for merchandise volumes suggests a decrease of 2.9% from the previous quarter’s reported figure. The consensus mark for total volumes indicates a 1.6% decline from the prior quarter.

However, with improvement in freight market conditions from the coronavirus-induced slump, volumes are likely to have increased on a year-over-year basis. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for total volumes suggests growth of 2.8% from the year-ago reported number. Given this anticipated increase in volumes, the consensus mark for total revenues indicates a 17.2% jump from the third-quarter 2020.

CSX’s bottom line might reflect the impact of an expected increase in labor and fringe expenses, and costs associated with the apprehended rise in volumes.

CSX Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

CSX Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

CSX Corporation price-eps-surprise | CSX Corporation Quote

Earnings Whispers

The proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for CSX this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. However, this is not the case here as elaborated below. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: CSX has an Earnings ESP of -1.74%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: CSX carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Highlights of Q2 Earnings

In the last reported quarter, CSX delivered an earnings surprise of 8.1%. The bottom-line surged year over year owing to an approximate 33% jump in total revenues, which benefited from growth across all its businesses. Total revenues also outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector may consider C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW - Free Report) , Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings (KNX - Free Report) and Ryder System (R - Free Report) , as these stocks possess the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.

C.H. Robinson has an Earnings ESP of +1.20% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 26.

Knight-Swift has an Earnings ESP of +1.33% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter 2021 earnings numbers on Oct 20.

Ryder has an Earnings ESP of +12.32% and a Zacks Rank #1. The company will release third-quarter 2021 financial numbers on Oct 27.