CSX railroad cuts profit outlook for year because shipping volume down 2 percent so far in 3Q

CSX railroad says it will be difficult to hit its profit goals in the second half of the year because coal demand is even weaker than expected.

Chief sales and marketing officer Fredrik Eliasson said Wednesday that CSX still expects flat earnings per share in the third quarter, but the 2015 forecast now calls for profit growth per share in the mid-single digits.

Previously, CSX had predicted mid-to-high single-digit earnings per share growth in 2015 although the railroad warned in July that it would be hard to hit the upper end of that range.

Eliasson says CSX has been increasing shipping rates, but total volume is down about 2 percent so far in the third quarter. Demand for coal and merchandise shipments has been slightly below what CSX expected in the quarter.

CSX shares still edged up 3 cents to $28.03 in morning trading Wednesday.