CSX Railroad Delivers 15 Percent Improvement In 2Q Profit

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX Corp. delivered a 15 percent improvement in second-quarter profit as the railroad continues to restructure under its new CEO.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company said Tuesday it earned $510 million net income, or 55 cents per share. That’s up from $445 million, or 47 cents per, share a year ago.

The railroad’s results were weighed down by $122 million in restructuring charges related to changes CEO Hunter Harrison has made as he works to streamline operations and impose tighter schedules for trains. Without those charges, the railroad said it would have reported earnings per share of 64 cents.

The results topped the adjusted 59 cents per share that the 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected on average.

Harrison said he is pleased with the progress CSX has made so far.

“Although there still remains a lot to be done, we are confident that these initiatives will drive improved customer service, greater resource efficiency and superior shareholder value,” Harrison said.

The freight railroad’s revenue grew 8 percent to $2.93 billlion as it hauled 2 percent more freight. That beat the $2.85 billion revenue that analysts expected on average.

In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, photo, a CSX freight train passes through Homestead, Pa. CSX Corp. reports financial results, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar.

CSX’s board approved spending another $500 million on repurchasing its own shares to boost the plan to $1.5 billion.

The railroad reiterated its outlook for a 25 percent improvement over last year’s earnings per share of $1.81.

The 72-year-old Harrison was hired by CSX after pressure from the Mantle Ridge hedge fund that owns 5 percent of the railroad. Harrison previously led turnarounds of Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railroads.

CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.

Its shares have increased 52 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased roughly 10 percent.

The stock was down $2.38, or about 4 percent, at $52.26 in extended trading following the release of the earnings report.