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CSX Improves Operating Ratio In The Third Quarter

FreightWaves

Despite lower revenues in the third quarter of 2019, CSX (NYSE: CSX) lowered its operating ratio to a company record of 56.8 percent, compared with 58.7 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

Operating ratio can be a measure of a railroad's profitability. The lower the percentage, the higher the profitability.

"I am extremely proud of our dedicated team of CSX railroaders for once again setting new records for operating efficiency, customer service and safety this quarter," said James M. Foote, president and chief executive officer. "These results reflect our continued commitment toward being the best run railroad in North America and providing our customers with best-in-class service."

Third-quarter net profit was $856 million, or $1.08/share, compared with $894 million, or $1.05/share in the third quarter of 2018.

Revenue fell by 5 percent in the third quarter to $2.98 billion amid declining revenues for CSX's coal and intermodal segments and a slightly higher merchandise segment. 

Third-quarter expenses were down 8 percent to $1.69 billion, while operating income was "roughly flat" at $1.29 billion, CSX said.

Source: CSX

As with its other Class I railroad counterparts, rail volumes were down for CSX in the third quarter, except for higher volumes for minerals and for agricultural and food products. Fertilizers volumes were flat.

Operating metrics were mixed in the third quarter. CSX reported average train velocity improving by 13 percent to 20.3 miles per hour. But terminal dwell time rose by 3 percent to 9.2 hours. Terminal dwell represents the time a train spends at a terminal.

Source: CSX

CSX executives held an earnings call at 4:30 pm EDT on the results.

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