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Jul 16, 2019

CSX profit down 1% in Q2 on weaker volume

A CSX Transportation Inc. conductor climbs aboard a freight train in Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, April 13, 2018. CSX Corp. is scheduled to release earnings figures on April 17.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - CSX second-quarter profit slipped 1%, falling short of what Wall Street expected as the railroad hauled 4% less freight.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based company said it earned $870 million, or $1.08 per share, in the quarter. That's down from $877 million, or $1.01 per share, a year ago.

The analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of $1.11 per share in the latest quarter.

The freight railroad posted revenue of $3.06 billion in the period, which also missed Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.14 billion.

CSX reduced its outlook for the year. The railroad now predicts revenue will be down 1% to 2% this year. Previously, CSX said it expected revenue low-single digit revenue growth on the year.

The biggest drop in CSX's freight came in the intermodal category where shipments of containers taken off ships fell 10%. Shipments of metals and equipment fell 9%, and fertilizer shipments declined 5%.

CSX Corp. is more than two years into an operational overhaul designed to enable the railroad to handle more volume with fewer locomotives and employees by operating on a tighter schedule. During the second quarter, expenses declined another 3% to $1.76 billion.

The railroad's stock was down about 5% to $75.44 in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report.

The stock has risen 28% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen 20%.

CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.