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Lower Revenue Dents CSX's Third-Quarter Profit

Lower Revenue Dents CSX's Third-Quarter Profit

CSX (NASDAQ: CSX) reported third-quarter 2020 net income of $736 million, or 96 cents per share, compared with $856 million, or $1.08 per share, in the third quarter of 2019 amid a drop in revenue and "lower economic activity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."


Third-quarter revenue fell 11% year-over-year to $2.65 billion, with intermodal volume growth more than offset by declines in coal and merchandise volumes, CSX said. Lower fuel surcharge revenue also affected overall revenue.

But expenses were down 11% to $1.51 billion amid "continued efficiency gains and volume-related reductions," the company said. 


Third-quarter operating income also slipped 11% to $1.14 billion. 

Despite the revenue decline, CSX's operating ratio for the third quarter was 56.9%, which the railroad described as being in line with the prior year. Operating ratio (OR) is a tool that some investors use to gauge the financial health of a company, with a lower OR implying improved health.

Meanwhile, service metrics slipped in the third quarter, with terminal dwell at 9.7 hours compared with 8.9 hours a year ago and train velocity at 19.6 mph versus 20.3 mph year-over-year.


"I am incredibly proud of how CSX's exceptional team of railroaders continues to deliver against the challenges this year has presented," said President and CEO Jim Foote. "Their hard work allowed CSX to efficiently absorb the record rebound in volume while maintaining high levels of customer service."

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

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