CSX Boosts Full-Year Profit Forecast as Crude Shipments Rise

CSX Corp. (CSX), the biggest railroad in the eastern U.S., boosted its full-year profit forecast as crude oil volumes and shipments of intermodal freight climbed in the third quarter.

The shares jumped as much as 6.4 percent in extended trading after Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX said earnings per share for 2013 will be “slightly up” from 2012. Previously, the company said profit would be “roughly flat.”

Shipments of cargo that can be carried by train, truck or ship are CSX’s “greatest opportunity” for growth, Chief Financial Officer Fredrik Eliasson said at a meeting with analysts and investors last month. Intermodal volumes rose 6 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, CSX said today. Chemical carloads that include crude climbed 12 percent.

“The third quarter performance is an ongoing reflection of the company’s ability to capitalize on the modest improvement in the economy” and rising operating efficiency, Chief Executive Officer Michael Ward said in the statement.

Net income in the third quarter rose 1.8 percent to $463 million, or 46 cents a share, from $455 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier, CSX said today. Analysts projected 43 cents, the average of 25 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

CSX rose 1 percent to $26.35 at 4:53 p.m. in New York, after reaching as high as $27.78. The shares closed at $26.10 in regular trading, extending their 2013 gain to 32 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 19 percent.

CSX was the first major U.S. railroad to report third-quarter earnings. Union Pacific Corp. (UNP), the biggest carrier, is scheduled to release results on Oct. 17, followed by Kansas City Southern (KSU) the following day and Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) on Oct. 23.

Norfolk Southern and CSX compete for rail freight in the eastern U.S.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Catts in New York at tcatts1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net.

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