CSX Reverses on Q4 Earnings, Lower-than-Expected Sales

CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) reported in-line earnings for its fourth quarter, while sales missed estimates.

The rail company, based out of Jacksonville, Florida, reported fourth quarter 2019 net earnings of $771 million, or $0.99 per share, versus $843 million, or $1.01 per share in the same period last year. CSX’s operating ratio set a company fourth quarter record of 60.0 percent, compared with 60.3 percent in the prior year.

For the full year 2019, CSX generated net earnings of $3.33 billion, or $4.17 per share, versus $3.31 billion, or $3.84 per share in 2018, an increase of 1% and 9%, respectively.

CSX’s full year 2019 operating ratio of 58.4% represents a new U.S. Class I railroad record, improving upon last year’s record result of 60.3%.

"The railroad has never run better and we are delivering great service to our customers," said CEO James M. Foote. "What is really amazing is how our employees stepped up to produce efficiencies during tough economic conditions."

Revenue for the fourth quarter decreased 8% versus prior year to $2.89 billion due to lower volumes and negative mix from coal market headwinds. Expenses decreased 9% year over year to $1.73 billion, driven by continued efficiency gains and volume-related savings. Operating income was down 8% to $1.15 billion compared to the same period last year.

Shares dropped 90 cents, or 1.2%, to $75.83