CSX Corporation's CSX fourth-quarter 2020 earnings (excluding 5 cents from non-recurring items) of $1.04 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1. The bottom line improved 5.1% year over year due to impressive performance of the intermodal segment.
Total revenues of $2,825 million outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,747.5 million. However, the top line dipped 2.1% year over year owing to lower fuel surcharge revenues and coal volume declines.
Fourth-quarter operating income increased 5% to $1,215 million. Operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) improved to 57% from 60% in the prior-year quarter, thanks to reduced operating expenses. Notably, lower the value of the metric, the better. Total expenses declined 7% year over year in the reported quarter. Costs reduced primarily due to increased efficiency.
CSX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
CSX Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | CSX Corporation Quote
Merchandise revenues were flat year over year at $1,864 million in the quarter under review. Merchandise volumes remained unaltered from the year-ago period.
Coal revenues plunged 18% year over year to $375 million in the reported quarter. Coal volumes contracted 9% due to lower domestic and export coal volumes.
Intermodal revenues climbed 6% year over year to $476 million. Volumes increased 11%, with both domestic and international shipments increasing as a result of tightening truck capacity among other factors.
Other revenues dropped 6% to $110 million in the reported quarter.
Liquidity & Share Buyback
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company exited the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $3,129 million compared with $958 million at the end of December 2019. Long-term debt totaled $16,304 million compared with $15,993 million at 2019-end. As of Dec 31, 2020, net cash provided by operating activities was $4,263 million, compared with $4,850 million in the year-earlier period. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
As of Dec 31, 2020, CSX repurchased 13 million shares for $867 million.
Let’s take a look at some of the other recently released earnings reports from companies within the Zacks Transportation sector.
United Airlines UAL, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, incurred a loss (excluding 6 cents from non-recurring items) of $7 per share in the fourth quarter of 2020, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $6.56. Meanwhile, operating revenues of $3,412 million lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,420.4 million.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services JBHT, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, reported earnings of $1.44 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.27. Total operating revenues of $2,737.7 million also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,514.3 million.
Delta Air Lines DAL, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, incurred a loss (excluding $1.34 from non-recurring items) of $2.53 per share in the fourth quarter of 2020, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $2.43. Total revenues of $3,973 million topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,754.5 million.
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