Rail Giant CSX Revenue In Line, Boosted By 16% Jump In Metals Volume

CSX Train Freight

[credit provider=”AP Photo/M. Spencer Green”]

Global shipping giant CSX announced earnings of $841 million, $0.43 a share, a penny below Wall Street expectations. However, top line results grew 5% year-on-year and beat forecasts, coming in at nearly $3 billion.

The company was helped by a surge in fourth quarter metals shipments, with volumes up 16% on export demand for scarp shipments.

Automotive volumes also helped the firm, as manufacturers shipped more vehicles over CSX’s rail network to meet pent up demand.

“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 CSX CEO Michael Ward.  “Our performance in 2011 has set a strong foundation for growth, and CSX remains committed to achieving a 65 per cent operating ratio by no later than 2015.”

CSX faced difficulty in the coal market, as volumes declined 8% for the quarter. A 16% increase in revenue generated per unit shipped helped bolster revenue for the unit. Fuel costs also impacted margins, as the average price of locamotive fuel surged 26%. 

For the full year, revenue increased 10% to $11.7 billion, with operating income of $3.4 billion. The company added 1,908 net employees over 2011, now with head count topping 32,100. 

Along with the earnings announcement, the company named a new chief financial officer and new chief operating officer. The company said the new appointments were unrelated to its financial performance. 

Shares are down more than 3% in after-hours trading.