(Updates with revenue gain in sixth paragraph.)
July 19 (Bloomberg) -- CSX Corp., the biggest eastern U.S. railroad, posted higher second-quarter profit than analysts estimated as the economic recovery boosted shipping volumes.
Profit rose 22 percent to $506 million, or 46 cents a share, beating the average estimate of 44 cents from 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with net income of $414 million, or 36 cents, in the same period last year, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said today in a statement.
Carloads at North American Class 1 railroads, the largest based on revenue, advanced about 4 percent in the quarter, Bloomberg analysis shows. Last week, CSX raised its planned spending for the year by $200 million to buy railcars and take advantage of growing overseas demand for U.S. coal.
CSX “is well positioned to benefit from Eastern intermodal strength, export coal growth, the ongoing economic recovery, and a well-capitalized balance sheet,” Jason Seidl, a New York- based analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co., said in a note to clients last week. He recommends buying the stock.
Total shipment volume advanced 3 percent, led by gains in intermodal deliveries, which can be moved by rail, highway and sea. Revenue per unit surged 10 percent, led by coal and intermodal gains.
Quarterly sales rose 13 percent to $3.02 billion, topping an average estimate of $2.97 billion from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
CSX gained 47 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $25.95 at 4:18 p.m. after the close of regular trading in New York.
CSX is the first rail carrier to report second-quarter earnings. Union Pacific Corp. is scheduled to release its results July 21, and Norfolk Southern Corp. plans to report July 26.
--Editors: James Langford, Niamh Ring
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