Rail freight and intermodal group CSX released encouraging first quarter figures yesterday showing net earnings of $449 million, or $0.43 per share, versus $395 million, or $0.35 per share, in the same period last year. This represents a 23% year on year improvement in earnings per share. Operating income improved 11% to $856 million whilst operating ratio improved 140 basis points to 71.1 percent. Michael J. Ward, chairman, president and chief executive officer commented:
"CSX is off to a fast start in a year that will be dynamic and challenging. A significant majority of our transportation markets are performing very well and our operations are delivering excellent results. Although utility coal-related headwinds are likely to be stronger in the second quarter, CSX remains on track to achieve year-over-year earnings growth in 2012."
Revenue in the quarter improved 6% from the prior year to nearly $3 billion, driven by increased volume, pricing gains and fuel recovery. Overall volume was up 1% in the quarter when compared to the same period last year. CSX runs a complex rail network spanning 23 US eastern states plus the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces, a total of 21,000 track miles with connections to over seventy ocean, river and lake ports.