Second quarter profit at CSX Transportation jumped 22 percent to $506 million on just a 3 percent rise in freight traffic from a year earlier, highlighting the eastern U.S. rail giant’s ability to increase prices during a slow economy recovery.
The carrier boosted revenue 13 percent to $3 billion, outpacing a 10 percent increase in costs that was mostly due to higher diesel fuel prices.
Overall freight volume grew 3 percent to 1.65 million units, but intermodal traffic increased 8 percent.
By The Numbers: U.S. Rail Cargo
CSX said its major business lines all showed growth.
Its export coal volume increased although total coal traffic shrank 3 percent and automotive shipments were down 1 percent.
The first of the major railroads to report its earnings, CSX showed how Class I carriers can increase freight pricing along with picking up revenue from fuel surcharges.
Revenue for its intermodal business rose 24 percent, or three times the traffic growth, while the 13 percent overall revenue gain was more than four times total traffic growth. Its coal revenue increased 15 percent, while automotive receipts rose 11 percent.
Its profit margin — net income as a share of receipts — rose to 16.8 percent in this year’s second quarter from 15.5 percent a year earlier.
CSX also increased its labor force by 939 in June to 31,189 compared to the same month a year ago.
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