CSX Corp.'s (CSX) first-quarter earnings rose 14% as the railroad reported an increase in intermodal volume, though coal volume continued to slump
Shares jumped 2.5%, to $23.00 after hours, as results topped analyst expectations.
CSX, a big mover of coal from mines to seaports, continues to grapple with a slumping demand for coal--a result of falling prices for natural gas, high coal stockpiles and unseasonably warm weather.
"Although utility coal-related headwinds are likely to be stronger in the second quarter, CSX remains on track to achieve year-over-year earnings growth in 2012," said Chairman and Chief Executive Michael J. Ward.
Volume growth for the railroad has been anemic in recent months, increasing 0.6% in the latest period.
The company underwent an abrupt management change in January when it named Chief Financial Officer Oscar Munoz to the post of operating chief and appointed Fredrik J. Eliasson as its new CFO. CSX has said the change stemmed from the company's ongoing effort to boost customer service and increase the efficiency of its network.
CSX reported a profit of $449 million, or 43 cents a share, up from $395 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier. The per-share figures reflect the company's three-for-one stock split, which went into effect in June.
Revenue climbed 5.6%, to $2.97 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently predicted per-share earnings of 38 cents on revenue of $2.92 billion.
Total expenses were up 3.6%.
Intermodal volume, which measures the movement of freight by two or more modes of transportation, increased 8.5%, as coal volume slumped 14%.
Intermodal volume accounts for about 35% of CSX's overall business, while coal volume accounts for about 25%.
-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; firstname.lastname@example.org