CSX Corporation’s CSX third-quarter 2021 earnings of 43 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents. The bottom line surged 34.4% year over year owing to higher revenues.
Total revenues of $3,292 million outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3030.9 million. The top line jumped 24.3% year over year owing to growth across all its businesses and revenues from Quality Carriers, which the company acquired in July. Following this better-than-expected third-quarter performance, despite supply chain disruptions and Delta-variant-led woes, shares of CSX gained 2.7% in after-market trading on Oct 20.
Third-quarter operating income climbed 26% to $1,436 million. Operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) improved to 56.4% from 56.9% in the prior-year quarter despite operating expenses increasing 23% year over year. With respect to this metric, lower the value, the better.
CSX continues to expect double-digit revenue growth (excluding benefits from Quality Carriers transaction) in 2021. Capital expenditures are still anticipated in the band of $1.7 billion-$1.8 billion for 2021.
CSX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Merchandise revenues climbed 6% year over year to $1,881 million in the quarter under review. However, merchandise volumes dipped 2% from the year-ago period.
Coal revenues ascended 39% year over year to $460 million in the reported quarter. Coal volumes rose 16% with increase in both domestic and export coal volumes.
Intermodal revenues augmented 14% year over year to $509 million. Volumes increased 4% due to higher international shipments, thanks to strong demand, inventory replenishments and growth in rail volumes from east coast ports.
Other revenues jumped 81% to $538 million in the reported quarter.
Effective from third-quarter 2021, CSX introduced a new segment — Trucking — which comprises of the operations of Quality Carriers. Revenues from the segment totaled $200 million.
Liquidity & Share Buyback
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company exited the third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $2,179 million compared with $3,129 million at the end of December 2020. Long-term debt totaled $16,182 million compared with $16,304 million at 2020-end. As of Sep 30, 2021, net cash provided by operating activities was $3,819 million compared with $3,128 million in the year-earlier period.
As of Sep 30, 2021, CSX repurchased 74 million shares for $2,316 million.
Within the broader Transportation sector, Delta Air Lines DAL, J.B. Hunt Transport Services JBHT and Kansas City Southern KSU recently reported third-quarter 2021 results.
Delta, carrying a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), reported third-quarter earnings (excluding $1.59 from non-recurring items) of 30 cents per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents. Revenues of $9,154 million also beat Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,370.6 million.
J.B. Hunt, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported third-quarter earnings of $1.88 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.77. Total operating revenues of $3144.8 million outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3002.1 million. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Kansas City Southern, carrying a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), reported third-quarter earnings (excluding 31 cents from non-recurring items) of $2.02 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.07. Quarterly revenues of $744 million, however, surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $725.9 million.
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