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CSX Corp Announces Long-Term Growth Plans; Stock Gains

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Leading railroad operator, CSX Corp. (CSX - Free Report) saw its shares gain 5.64% at market close on Nov 9, after unveiling its long-term strategy and updating its fourth-quarter 2016 guidance. The company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Cindy Sanborn, shared details about the company’s prospects at Baird’s 2016 Industrial Conference.

Performance Outlook

The company maintained its guidance for earnings. CSX Corp. continues to expect earnings to be flat or slightly lower than the prior-year quarter. It also mentioned that an additional negative impact of 8 cents per share is estimated on account of near-term debt refinancing costs. Volumes too are expected be remain flat on a year-over-year basis. However, the company’s cost-management efforts are paying off and are expected to result in strong financial performance for the year. Notably, CSX Corp. recorded cost savings of $500 million in the third quarter, which has resulted from better locomotive productivity and asset reliability, improvement in fuel efficiency and labor cost-related savings.

The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company also highlighted its intention to shift focus from coal revenues to service-sensitive merchandise and intermodal markets in the longterm. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. We note that declining demand for coal has also adversely impacted the top line of other major railroads like Union Pacific Corp. (UNP - Free Report) , Kansas City Southern (KSU - Free Report) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC - Free Report) . We believe that the shift toward other means of revenues should boost top-line growthfor CSX in the future. CSX Corp. targets an operating ratio in the mid-60s range in the longterm. The company also highlighted that technology measures are further aiding its efforts to improve safety, performance and resource management.

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