CSX's Stock Soars Into Record Territory; New CEO Hunter Harrison's Timing Was 'exceptional'

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of CSX Corp. soared 6.3% into record territory in morning trade Thursday, after railroad operator beat first-quarter profit and sales expectations and raised its dividend. The stock hit an all-time intraday high of $50.45 earlier in the session, before paring gains to trade around $49.90, which is above the March 6 record close of $49.79. The better-than-expected report and stock rally comes soon after Hunter Harrison took over as CEO, at the urging of activist investor Mantle Ridge LP, which also won approval to nominate five new directors. Even though Hunter Harrison had been in the CEO's chair for only three weeks, when the 1Q17 came to a close, his impact has been immediately apparent and/or his timing, once again, is exceptional," wrote analyst John Larkin at Stifel Nicolaus in a note to clients. "We think it is more the latter than the former, in this particular case." The stock has run up 22% year to date, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average has ticked up 0.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.7%.

Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below