Employee safety and customer service near all-time record levels
CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) today announced third quarter net earnings of $455 million, down 2 percent when compared to the $464 million reported in the same period last year. Despite this decline, the company's earnings per share in the quarter were up 2 percent year-over-year to $0.44 compared to $0.43 in the third quarter last year. The contrast between the changes in net earnings and EPS is reflective of shares repurchased since last year's third quarter. "CSX continues to respond well to moderating economic conditions and challenges in our domestic coal business," said Michael J. Ward, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The company is driving strong safety, customer service and productivity results while building its capabilities for the long term." While the company saw strong increases in export coal, intermodal and automotive shipments, total revenue in the quarter declined 2 percent when compared to the same period last year. This decline was driven by overall lower volume levels, a change in the mix of the company's business and lower fuel recovery. However, strong productivity gains, coupled with adjusting resources throughout the business, allowed the company to offset external headwinds and deliver operating income of $854 million, down 3 percent compared to last year. In addition, the operating ratio performed well, remaining stable at 70.5 percent for the quarter, versus 70.4 percent last year. Looking forward, CSX still expects earnings growth and margin expansion for the full-year 2012. In addition, the company is still targeting a 65 percent operating ratio by 2015, although this has become more challenging in the current environment.