CSX Corp Earnings: Profit Rises for Third Straight Quarter

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX) reported its results for the fourth quarter. CSX provides rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers.

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CSX Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Net income for CSX Corporation rose to $457 million (43 cents per share) vs. $430 million (38 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 6.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 4.8% to $2.95 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: CSX fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 44 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.99 billion.

Quoting Management: “CSX once again delivered record earnings per share while investing in resources to support high customer service levels and growth in the near- and long-term,” said Michael J. Ward, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our performance in 2011 has set a strong foundation for growth, and CSX remains committed to achieving a 65 percent operating ratio by no later than 2015.”

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 12.1% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 22.2%.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 11.1% to $2.96 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 13.4% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 12.8% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now fallen short of estimates in the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it missed expectations by one cent with net income of 43 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 44 cents per share.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the first quarter of the next fiscal year have not changed from 42 cents. The average estimate for the fiscal year has remained at $1.68 per share.

Competitors to Watch: Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP), Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR), Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. (NASDAQ:PWX), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com