CSX Q4 Earnings & Revenues Top Estimates, Rise Year Over Year
CSX Corporation CSX reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2022 results, wherein both earnings and revenues outperformed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Quarterly earnings of 49 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 47 cents per share and improved 16.67% year over year.
Total revenues of $3,730 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,722.1 million. The top line increased 8.84% year over year on the back of higher fuel surcharge, pricing gains, an increase in volumes, and an increase in storage and other revenues. Overall revenues per unit increased 11%.
Fourth-quarter operating income climbed 7% to $1,459 million. The operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) deteriorated to 60.9% from 60.1% in the prior-year quarter, despite total expenses decreasing 10% year over year.
Merchandise revenues climbed 7% year over year to $2,074 million in the reported quarter on the back of price and higher fuel surcharge revenues. Merchandise volumes declined 2% to $632 million. Segmental revenue per unit increased 9%.
Intermodal revenues augmented 4% year over year to $573 million. Volumes declined 5% year over year.
International shipments were affected by lower imports. Segmental revenue per unit increased 9%.
Coal revenues ascended 20% year over year to $626 million in the reported quarter. Coal volumes and segmental revenue per unit increased 9% each.
Export coal volumes increased owing to robust shipments of metallurgical coal. Moreover, domestic coal volumes increased in the December quarter due to higher shipments of utility coal.
Effective from third-quarter 2021, CSX introduced a segment called Trucking comprising the operations of Quality Carriers, acquired by CSX in 2021. Revenues from the segment totaled $226 million, up 8% year over year. Higher fuel surcharge led to this uptick.
Other revenues jumped 12% to $231 million in the reported quarter. The uptick was owing to lower revenue reserves, and higher demurrage and affiliate revenue.
Liquidity, Dividends and Buyback
CSX exited 2022 with cash and cash equivalents of $1,958 million compared with $2,239 million at the end of 2021. Long-term debt totaled $17,896 million compared with $16,185 million at 2021-end. As of Dec 31, 2022, CSX rewarded its shareholders through buybacks and dividends worth $4,731 million and $852 million, respectively.
CSX expects capex for full-year 2023 to be around $2.3 billion. To combat inflationary pressures, management aims to focus on increasing efficiencies. Volumes are expected to be aided by strength in the merchandise and coal units.
Currently, CSX carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Q4 Results of Some Other Transportation Players: A Sneak Peek
Delta Air Lines’ DAL fourth-quarter 2022 earnings (excluding 19 cents from non-recurring items) of $1.48 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.29 per share. DAL reported earnings of 22 cents per share a year ago, dull in comparison to the current scenario, as air-travel demand was not so buoyant then.
Delta reported revenues of $13,435 million, which also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,030.3 million. Driven by the high air-travel demand, total revenues increased more than 41.87% on a year-over-year basis.
United Airlines UAL reported fourth-quarter 2022 earnings of $2.46 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.07 per share. In the year-ago quarter, UAL had incurred a loss of $1.60 per share when air-travel demand was not as buoyant as in the current scenario.
Operating revenues of $12,400 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12,230 million. UAL’s revenues increased 51.37% year over year due to upbeat air-travel demand.
Norfolk Southern Corporation’s NSC fourth-quarter 2022 earnings of $3.42 per share edged past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.41 per share and improved 9.62% year over year.
Railway operating revenues in the quarter under review came in at $3,237 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,177.2 million. The top line increased 13.5% year over year, with all key segments, including merchandise, intermodal and coal registering improvement in revenues. Revenue per unit rose 15% year over year, driven by higher fuel surcharges and pricing.
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