CSX 1Q Profit Dips 8% But Railroad Sees Economy Growing

OMAHA, Neb.: CSX Corp. said its first-quarter profit declined 8% due to higher expenses, but the railroad said it expects to benefit as the U.S. economy strengthens further over the rest of the year.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company said Tuesday that it earned $706 million, or 93 cents per share, during the quarter. That’s down from $770 million, of $1 per share, a year ago.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 95 cents per share.

CSX reiterated that it expects volume to grow this year at a faster pace than the U.S. economy, which is the midst of a recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

I am pleased to see momentum steadily building over the past few months, CEO Jim Foote said. Its nice to finally have an economic tailwind at our backs.

The freight railroad’s revenue declined 1% to $2.81 billion in the period, which matched forecasts. Volume was up about 1% over last year’s first quarter, but revenue fell across automotive, chemical and coal shipments.

CSX said its expenses increased 2% to $1.71 billion in the quarter as it spent more on salaries and materials as it dealt with severe winter weather.

CSX shares have climbed nearly 9% since the beginning of the year. They slipped about 1.7% in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.