CSX Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CSX (NYSE:CSX) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Tuesday, January 22, 2013. CSX provides rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers.

CSX Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 39 cents per share, a decline of 9.3% 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 44 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 40 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 4.2% versus last year to $1.74.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported net income of 44 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 44 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by 2 cents.

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Here’s how CSX traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

CSX

Stock Price Performance: Between November 15, 2012 and January 15, 2013, the stock price had risen $1.41 (7.3%), from $19.37 to $20.78. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 11, 2012 and December 18, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 3.3% (+65 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 20, 2012 and December 28, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 3.4% (-68 cents) over that span.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.79 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.92 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 17.3% to $3.02 billion while assets rose 0.9% to $2.39 billion.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 3.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.85 billion.

Key Stats:

The company is looking to get back on track with this earnings announcement after a profit drop last quarter snapped a positive string of results. Net income rose 6.3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 13.7% in the first quarter and 1.2% in the second quarter before declining in the third quarter.

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of two-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 0.2% in the second quarter and dropped again in the third quarter.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with 13 of 25 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 1.9% to $455 million (44 cents a share) from $464 million (43 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue fell 2.3% to $2.89 billion from $2.96 billion.

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