CSX Profit Meets Estimates as Cost Cuts Help Offset Coal Slump

CSX Corp.’s first-quarter profit met analysts’ estimates as cost cuts helped make up for a drop in coal and oil carloads at the largest railroad in the eastern U.S.

Earnings fell to 37 cents a share from 45 cents a year earlier, CSX said in a statement Tuesday, in line with the average of 25 forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 14 percent to $2.62 billion.

U.S. shipments of coal, one of the most plentiful and profitable commodities for railroads, dropped 33 percent in the first quarter, dragging down total traffic by 6.5 percent, according to the Association of American Railroads’ data.

CSX and other railroads are trying to make up for the lower freight loads by parking locomotives, reducing payrolls, improving train speeds and raising prices.

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