The Jacksonville, Fla,, railroad operator earned $770 million, or $1 a share, in the first quarter, against $834 million, or $1.02 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Shares outstanding declined 5.4% to 773 million from 817 million.
Revenue eased to $2.86 billion from $3.01 billion.
A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates of profit of 95 cents a share on revenue of $2.87 billion.
In a statement, President and Chief Executive James Foote lauded his employees for "keeping the railroad running at such a high level during these unprecedented times and enabling the delivery of critical goods across the country."
He said the company is "on the strongest footing it has ever been heading into this period of economic uncertainty."
In the quarter, "growth in merchandise revenue was more than offset by declines in coal and other revenue," CSX reported.
Expenses dropped 7% from a year earlier due to efficiency efforts. In particular, fuel costs declined 18% in the quarter.
The operating ratio, which references efficiency by comparing operating expense with net sales, moved positively, dropping to 58.7% from 59.5% in the year-earlier quarter.
At last check after hours CSX shares were trading 2% higher at $62.10. They finished the regular session on Wednesday up 2.4% at $60.89.
In 2020 to date, CSX shares are off 16%. They have, however, bounced 30% off the 52-week low of $46.81 set a month ago.