CSX Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CSX Corp (NYSE:CSX) will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, January 23, 2012. CSX provides rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers.

CSX Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 44 cents per share, a rise of 15.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 46 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 44 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.68 per share, a decline of 58.6% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported profit of 43 cents per share against a mean estimate of 44 cents. Two quarters ago, it beat expectations by 2 cents with net income of 46 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.99 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 6% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $11.78 billion for the year, a rise of 10.7% from last year’s revenue of $10.64 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 18 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and seven rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 12.1% to $464 million (43 cents a share) from $414 million (36 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 11.1% to $2.96 billion from $2.67 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 14.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 21.4% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 22.2% in the second quarter and 29.1% in the first quarter.

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), Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNI), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP), and Pioneer Railcorp (PRRR).

Stock Price Performance: During December 15, 2011 to January 17, 2012, the stock price had risen $2.97 (14.9%) from $19.98 to $22.95. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 28, 2011 and January 5, 2012 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 9.1% (+$1.90) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2011 and May 17, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 6.7% (-$1.75) over that span.

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

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