CSX Revenue, Traffic Fell in 3rd Quarter

As expected, the third quarter profits of CSX fell due to flat operating income and falling revenue.

The carrier said on Wednesday that declines in intermodal and coal revenue  traffic drove the declines.

CSX reported operating income  of  $1.28 billion and a 5 percent decline in revenue to $2.97 billion.

Net income fell 4 percent to $856 million by earnings per share grew 3 percent to $1.08.

The operating ratio set a record by improving 1.9 points to 56.8 percent.

“I am extremely proud of our dedicated team of CSX railroaders for once again setting new records for operating efficiency, customer service, and safety this quarter,” CSX CEO James Foote said in a statement.

“These results reflect our continued commitment toward being the best run railroad in North America and providing our customers with best-in-class service.”

Merchandise revenue was flat while coal and intermodal combined were down 9 percent. Overall, traffic volume fell 5 percent in the quarter compared to the third quarter of 2018.

Carload trip plan compliance rose to 74.6 percent compared to 66.1 percent last year. Intermodal trip plan compliance was 94.2 percent compared to 79.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

Cars spent more time in yards but trains moved faster. The average terminal dwell was up 3 percent while average train speed was up 13 percent.

CSX operated an average of 87 trains per day with distributed power, up from just a dozen in the third quarter of 2018. This enabled CSX to post a 5 percent gain in fuel efficiency.

The personal injury rate dropped by 5 percent while the train accident rate plunged was down by 51 percent, a company record.

CSX also set a record for the fewest number of train accidents in a quarter.

CSX expects that when 2019 is over it will have seen a  revenue decline of 1 percent to 2 percent  but will have posted a sub-60 percent operating ratio and capital spending of between $1.6 billion and $1.7 billion.

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