OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit declined 2 percent as the railroad worked to limit its costs while shipping demand remained weak.
The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Tuesday it generated $458 million in net income, or 49 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That's down from $466 million net income, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.
CSX said its results were affected by an extra week in this year's quarter that added 3 cents per share and some offsetting one-time items.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected CSX to report earnings per share of 50 cents.
Analysts also expected CSX to report revenue of $2.88 billion during the last three months of the year. The railroad reported $3.04 billion revenue, up from $2.78 billion a year earlier.
CSX Chairman and CEO Michael Ward said on CNBC that the economy showed some signs of improvement in the fourth quarter and manufacturing activity increased.
"It looks like some positive momentum going into 2017," Ward said on CNBC.
The railroad hauled 5 percent more carloads of freight in the quarter while freight volume for the entire year actually fell 5 percent.
Ward said CSX improved its productivity by $430 million last year. That partially offset the $470 million drop in coal revenue CSX saw last year, but the railroad was also dealing with weak demand in other markets and higher fuel and labor costs.
CFRA Research analyst Jim Corridore said CSX beat his 48-cent earnings estimate by a penny in the quarter because it had higher revenues than expected and saw some improvement in commodity volumes.
CSX shares fell nearly 2 percent Tuesday to close at $38.09 before the earnings report was released. Then shares fell another 3.4 percent after hours to trade for $36.80.
CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.
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CSX Corp.: www.csx.com
Keywords: CSX, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings