CSX Earnings Preview
Railroad operator CSX (NYSE: CSX) reports fourth-quarter results after the bell today and analysts are expecting a profit of 44 cents on revenue of $2.99 billion. EPS estimates range from 42 cents to 47 cents while revenue estimates range from $2.95 billion from $3.07 billion. In the year earlier fourth quarter, CSX earned 38 cents on revenue of $2.82 billion.
Last Thursday, CSX rival Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) reported a 24% increase in is fourth-quarter profit and the company added it was able to raise prices and ship more freight in the quarter. CSX has also been able to raise prices with success and at a faster clip than analysts previously expected. That bodes well for the near-term outlook on the shares.
Shares of CSX fell in third quarter as investors fretted about global coal demand, so any positive comments the Florida-based company can make on that issue would perhaps not only stoke CSX, but shares of coal producers as well.
In the past three months, CSX was up 5% heading into the start of trading today while the Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSE: KOL) was down about 7%.
The dividend: CSX currently yields 2.3% and the company has been steadily raising its dividend over the past several years. A dividend increase following today's earnings report is a possibility, but even if that doesn't materialize today, the company would remain a candidate for an increase payout later this year.
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