CSX gained net earnings of $463 million in the third quarter, generating $8 million more than the same period in 2012.
Revenues of $3 billion, when combined with an operating ratio of 71.5 percent, led officials to estimate earnings-per-share to rise from 2012 levels. By 2015, officials expect to achieve an operating ratio in the upper 60s.
The railroad’s volume for agricultural commodities and food and consumer products, declined 1 percent and 8 percent, respectively, during the quarter, but revenue per unit increased 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Waste and equipment volumes rose, year over year, by 33 percent, but revenue per piece declined 11 percent. In all, merchandise shipment volume rose 5 percent, while total revenue increased 7 percent and revenue per unit moved up 2 percent.
Coal volumes declined by 7 percent during the quarter, while revenues declined by 9 percent, and revenue per unit rose 2 percent. Intermodal volumes increased 6 percent, and revenues were up 8 percent.
"CSX posted historically high financial results as it continued to effectively manage ongoing challenges in the coal market and leverage growth opportunities in merchandise and intermodal," Michael J. Ward, chief executive officer of CSX, said in a statement. "The third quarter performance is an ongoing reflection of the company's ability to capitalize on the modest improvement in the economy with a relentless focus on customer service and asset efficiency."