CSX Corporation CSX reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2023 results, wherein both earnings and revenues outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Quarterly earnings of 48 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents and improved 23.1% year over year.
Total revenues of $3,706 million outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,599.1 million. The top line increased 9% year over year on the back of solid volume growth in merchandise and coal, higher fuel surcharge, and pricing gains. Overall revenues per unit increased 9%.
First-quarter operating income climbed 14% to $1,464 million. The operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) fell to 60.5% from 62.4% in the prior-year quarter, with total expenses increasing 5% year over year.
Merchandise revenues climbed 13% year over year to $2,163 million in the reported quarter. Merchandise volumes grew 4% to $647 million. Segmental revenue per unit increased 8%.
Intermodal revenues fell 5% year over year to $499 million. Volumes fell 9% year over year owing to decreased international shipments, driven by high inventory levels and lower
imports. Domestic shipments also decreased owing to the impacts of a softening truck market. Segmental revenue per unit increased 5%.
Coal revenues ascended 19% year over year to $633 million in the reported quarter. Coal volumes increased 19%. Segmental revenue per unit fell 0.5%.
Effective from third-quarter 2021, CSX introduced a segment called Trucking comprising the operations of Quality Carriers, acquired by CSX last year. Revenues from the segment totaled $233 million, up 1% year over year due to higher fuel surcharge.
Other revenues fell 12% to $178 million in the reported quarter. The downside was owing to lower intermodal storage and equipment usage, partially offset by increases in demurrage and higher affiliate revenues.
Liquidity, Dividends and Buyback
CSX exited the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,291 million compared with $1,958 million at the end of December 2022. Long-term debt totaled $17,911 million compared with $17,896 million in December 2022.
CSX generated $1,251 million of cash from operating activities in the first quarter.
As of Mar 31, 2023, CSX rewarded its shareholders through buybacks and dividends worth $1,067 million and $226 million, respectively.
CSX expects capex for 2023 to be around $2.3 billion. To combat inflationary pressures, management aims to focus on increasing efficiencies. Volumes are expected to be aided by strength in the merchandise and coal units.
Currently, CSX carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Performances of Other Transportation Companies
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.’s JBHT first-quarter 2023 earnings of $1.89 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.04 and declined 17.5% year over year.
JBHT’s total operating revenues of $3,229.58 million also lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,434.4 million and fell 7.4% year over year. The downfall was due to declines in the volume of 25% in Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS), 5% in Intermodal (JBI) and 17% in Final Mile Services (FMS), and a 17% decline in revenue per load in Truckload (JBT). Revenue declines in ICS, JBI, FMS and JBT were partially offset by Dedicated Contract Services revenue growth of 13%.
JBHT’s total operating revenues, excluding fuel surcharges, decreased 10.2% year over year.
Delta Air Lines’ DAL first-quarter 2023 earnings (excluding 82 cents from non-recurring items) of 25 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 29 cents. Volatile fuel prices and unfavorable weather conditions led to this downtick. DAL reported a loss of $1.23 per share a year ago, dull in comparison to the current scenario, as air-travel demand was not so buoyant then.
DAL reported revenues of $12,759 million, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12,767.4 million. Driven by higher air-travel demand, total revenues increased 36.49% on a year-over-year basis.
Alaska Air Group, Inc. ALK reported a first-quarter 2023 loss of 62 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 48 cents. In the year-ago quarter, ALK incurred a loss of $1.33 per share.
ALK’s operating revenues of $ 2,196 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,202.5 million. The top line jumped 31% year over year, with passenger revenues accounting for 90.3% of the top line and increasing 31% owing to continued recovery in air-travel demand.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.