CSX Corp. shares fell after hours Thursday after the railroad operator reported second-quarter sales that missed expectations, dragged by lower fuel and coal prices and weaker shipping volumes. The company, whose rail network serves much of the eastern U.S., reported second-quarter net income of $996 million, or 49 cents a share. That was down from $1.18 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue fell 3% to $3.69 billion, compared with $3.82 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to report earnings per share of 49 cents, on revenue of $3.73 billion. CSX
attributed the sales dip to lower fuel and coal prices, and lower volumes in its intermodal business, which connects its shipping customers to railroads via other modes of transportation. Chief Executive Joe Hinrichs, in a statement, said that intermodal business “remains challenged.” However, management said shipping volumes grew for coal and merchandise — things like chemicals, food, crops and cars. Shares slid 3.9% after hours on Thursday. CSX reported earnings as analysts point to weaker shipping demand among the nation’s railways — a product of weaker consumer spending overall as inflation causes shoppers and businesses to retrench. Meanwhile labor tensions — at West Coast ports in the U.S. and Canada, and the prospect of a strike at United Parcel Service Inc.
— have threatened the infrastructure that transports goods from ports, warehouses and factories to stores and homes. …