FILE- In this Feb. 12, 2018, file photo, a CSX freight train passes through Homestead, Pa. CSX railroad will give investors another update on its efforts to cut costs and improve efficiency when it releases its quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

CSX 2Q profit jumps as railroad keeps cutting expense

July 17, 2018 - 5:26 pm

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX Corp. delivered a 72 percent jump in its second-quarter profit as the railroad continues to cut its expenses and improve operations.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company said Tuesday that it earned $877 million, or $1.01 per share in the quarter. That's up significantly from last year's $510 million, or 55 cents per share, when an $81 million restructuring charge limited profit.

The results from the latest quarter handily exceeded the 86 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research. Shares in CSX were up about 3 percent in after-hours trading following the report.

CSX is more than a year into an operational overhaul that began under previous CEO Hunter Harrison, who died in December. His successor, Jim Foote, is continuing to implement the plan to allow CSX to handle more volume with fewer locomotives and employees by operating on a tighter schedule.

"While we remain in the early stages of the transformation I am more confident this exceptional team can deliver on our longer term outlook," Foote said.

Edward Jones analyst Dan Sherman said the results show that the changes CSX has made are paying off.

Foote said there is still plenty of room to improve CSX's operations, especially in the railroad's unit that delivers intermodal shipping containers. The containers come in by ship, and then are delivered by a combination of trains and trucks.

The freight railroad generated revenue of $3.1 billion in the period as it handled 2 percent more volume. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected revenue of $2.99 billion.

Foote said CSX now expects revenue for the full year to be up by a mid-single-digit rate. Previously the railroad had predicted just a slight increase in revenue.

Through the end of regular-session trading Tuesday, CSX shares have increased 17 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 5 percent.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CSX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CSX