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Why Is CSX (CSX) Down 2% Since Last Earnings Report?

Zacks Equity Research
Kirkland Lake Gold (KL) closed at $46.54 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.24% move from the prior day.

It has been about a month since the last earnings report for CSX (CSX). Shares have lost about 2% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is CSX due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Earnings Beat at CSX in Q1

CSX delivered first-quarter 2019 earnings of $1.02 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents. Moreover, the bottom line surged 30.8% year over year. Total revenues of $3,013 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,006.8 million and also increased 4.8% year over year. Results were driven by merchandise volume growth and pricing gains.

First-quarter operating income augmented 17% year over year to $1,219 million. Operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) improved to 59.5% from 63.7% in the prior-year quarter with total expenses decreasing 2% from the year-ago period. The company still expects capex for 2019 between $1.6 billion and $1.7 billion.

Segmental Performance

Merchandise revenues climbed 6% year over year to $1,879 million in the quarter under review. Moreover, merchandise volumes expanded 3% year over year.

Coal revenues ascended 7% year over year to $538 in the reported quarter. Coal volumes also grew 5% year over year.

Intermodal revenues declined 5% year over year to $428 million. Volumes also slipped 5% on a year-over-year basis.

Other revenues grossed $168 million, up 16% year over year.


The company exited the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,188 million compared with $858 million at the end of last December. Long-term debt totaled $15,748 million compared with $14,739 million at 2018 end. As of Mar 31, 2019, net cash provided by operating activities was $1,173 million compared with $966 million in the year-earlier period.


How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.

VGM Scores

Currently, CSX has an average Growth Score of C, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a B. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, CSX has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.

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