CSX Expects Slight Decline In Fourth-quarter Earnings On Weak Energy Market

By Ciara LinnaneMarketWatch Pulse

Railroad operator CSX Corp. said Tuesday it expects fourth-quarter per-share earnings to decline slightly from the same period a year ago, hurt by continued headwinds in the energy market. The company is still targeting EPS growth in the mid-single digits for 2015 as intermodal growth and cost cuts offset about $450 million in coal revenue declines. "Growth in 2016 will be led by intermodal, as CSX continues to drive highway-to-rail conversions to capture a share of the estimated 9 million loads in the East that are well-positioned for intermodal service," the company said. CSX is still expecting "meaningful" margin expansion in 2015 as it leverages longer trains and continues investing in intermodal, among other things. Shares rose 1.3% in early trade, but are down 22% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained about 1%.

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