CSX Corp (CSX) reported earnings after the bell on Tuesday. The company beat earnings estimates as it grew intermodal and automotive revenue at a solid clip which helped offset the well anticipated drop off in coal traffic. The report confirmed the faith I have with my investment in CSX and bodes well for Union Pacific (UNP) reports on Thursday and for Norfolk Southern (NSC) which issues its report next week.
Positives from the earnings report of CSX.
- Posted EPS of $1.49, two cents above estimates.
- Intermodal revenues improved ten percent on an 8% increase in traffic. Y/Y automotive traffic was up 27%. Both have offset a 14% decline in coal traffic.
- Operating margins were solid at 32% as the company benefited from efficiency measures as well as a 5% drop in fuel costs.
Four additional reasons CSX has value at under $23 a share:
- The company has a solid balance sheet, yields 2.5% and has raised its dividend payouts at an average 20% annual clip over the past five years.
- This is the third straight quarter CSX has beat earnings estimates and the stock sells for just 11 forward earnings.
- The stock is cheap at 7 times operating cash flow and a five year projected PEG of just 1.
- The stock looks like it has successfully bottomed, has gain some recent momentum and is solidly above its 200 day moving average (see chart).
Disclosure: I am long CSX.