CSX achieved $535 million in earnings during the second quarter, a 4 percent rise over the same period in 2012.
Total revenue increased 2 percent to $3.07 billion. For the first six months of 2013, net earnings grew by 3 percent to $994 million, and revenue ticked up 1 percent to $6.03 billion.
Officials say these numbers keep CSX on track to maintaining its operating ratio in the high 60s by 2015. The operating ratio for the second quarter stood at 68.6 percent, a decline of 0.1 percent from the same period last year. For the first six months of the year, the operating ratio is down 0.4 percent to 69.5 percent.
Annual expected growth through 2015 has been pegged at 10 percent to 15 percent each year when compared to 2013 levels.
“CSX continues to drive solid growth in many of its markets and is encouraged by the team’s sustained track record of delivering excellent operating performance in a wide range of market conditions,” Michael Ward, chief executive officer of CSX, said in a statement. “We remain sharply focused on creating strong, sustained value for customers and shareholders, as the economy appears to be slowly gaining strength.”
Total rail volume ticked up 1 percent on the strength of intermodal and merchandise activity, which erased decreases in coal volume.
Under the merchandise segment, agricultural activity was mixed, seeing decreases in agricultural product activity, and food and consumer products, but phosphate and fertilizer activity increased. The industrial sector saw gains in chemicals and automotive, but a decrease in the volume of metals transported. In housing and construction, forest product activity increased along with mineral volume, but waste and equipment volumes dropped.
Increased demand from current customers, highway-to-rail conversions and a ramp up in service offerings lead to an increase in domestic intermodal activity. Coal exports fell due to a drop in U.S. thermal oil activity to Europe. Competition from other countries also helped boost the decrease. Domestic coal shipments increased. - Jon Ross