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CSX Corporation (CSX) Beats on Q4 Earnings and Revenues

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CSX Corporation (CSX - Free Report)  reported fourth-quarter 2016 earnings of 54 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 49 cents.

Revenues of $3.04 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.86 billion and improved 9% year over year owing to a 5% increase in overall volumes. The company saw growth in volumes across most key segments.

Fourth-quarter operating income improved 27% year over year to $1 billion. Moreover, operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) contracted 460 basis points to 67%. Operating expenses increased 2% year over year to $2.03 billion.

Segmental Performance

Merchandise revenues grew 6% year over year to $1,895 million in the quarter owing to 4% rise in volumes. This was largely due to increase of 15% and 8% in revenues in the Automotive and Agricultural and Food Products segments, respectively.

Coal revenues surged 23% year over year to $551 million due to an 8% improvement in volumes.

Intermodal revenues climbed 7% year over year to $477 million. On a year-over-year basis, volumes increased 4%.

Other revenues grossed $114 million, up 13% year over year.

CSX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

CSX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | CSX Corporation Quote

Liquidity

The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company exited the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $603 million compared with $628 million at the end of 2015. Long-term debt totaled $10,962 million as against $10,515 million at the end of 2015. For the period ending Dec 30, 2016, net cash from operating activities was $3,041 million compared with $3,370 million in the year-ago period. 

Guidance

The company is committed to its “CSX of Tomorrow Strategy” and strives to boost growth in Merchandise and Intermodal segments. It expects to achieve operating ratio in mid-60s range over the long term.

We note that the company’s stock has underperformed the broader Zacks categorized Transportation-Rail industry over the past three months. Shares of the company appreciated 22.59%, while the industry gained 9.38% over the same period.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Upcoming Releases

Investors interested in the railroad space are keenly awaiting fourth-quarter earnings reports from key players like Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC - Free Report) , Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific Corp. (UNP - Free Report) in the coming days. Kansas City Southern is scheduled to report on Jan 20. Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern are scheduled to report on Jan 19, and Jan 25, respectively.

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