Eastern-U.S. rail giant CSX Transportation earned $395 million in the January-March quarter, up 30 percent from the 2010 quarter as the economy’s ongoing recovery keeps generating more rail freight traffic.
Revenue gained 13 percent to $2.8 billion “driven primarily by a 7 percent increase in overall volume,” CSX said. “Shipments across all major markets – merchandise, intermodal and coal – increased as the economy continued to grow.”
And Michael Ward, the chairman, president and CEO, sees more of the same ahead. “We expect these positive trends to continue,” he said, “allowing CSX to make critical investments and meet the future transportation needs of our customers and the nation.”
CSX had a record-low first quarter operating ratio – expenses to receipts – of 72.5 percent, as it held expenses to just under a 10 percent gain. Its headcount in March was 30,464 employees, up 3 percent from March 2010. And while labor, equipment and other costs rose, CSX said it also booked some savings from having terminated a purchased transportation agreement last year for intermodal service.
Its $395 million profit was 14.1 percent of revenue, up from a 12.2 percent profit margin for the comparable 2010 period. Revenue per unit grew 5 percent, as pricing grew in keeping with what CSX said was “the company’s focus on profitable growth.”