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CSX 1Q profit drops 8%, railroad withdraws outlook for year

Last Updated Apr 22, 2020 at 1:50 pm PDT

OMAHA, Neb. — CSX Corp. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit slipped 8% and the railroad withdrew its outlook for the year because of the ongoing economic uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Jacksonville, Florida- based company said it earned $770 million, or $1 per share, during the quarter. That’s down from $834 million, or $1.02 per share, a year ago.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of 92 cents per share on average.

But the freight railroad’s revenue declined 5% to $2.86 billion and fell short of the $2.88 billion that Wall Street analysts expected.

CSX said it cut its expenses 7% to $1.68 billion during the quarter as the number of carloads of freight it carried declined 1%. Shipments have declined more since the quarter ended as auto companies shuttered their plants and other manufacturers slowed production because of the outbreak.

CSX operates more than 21,000 miles (34,000 kilometres) of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces.

CSX shares have decreased 16% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has decreased 13%. They rose about 1% in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on CSX at https://www.zacks.com/ap/CSX

Josh Funk, The Associated Press