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How CSX Stock Has Performed ahead of 4Q17 Earnings

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Jan. 12 2018, Updated 1:10 p.m. ET

CSX’s 4Q17 earnings

CSX (CSX), a NASDAQ-listed Eastern US railroad company, is slated to announce its 4Q17 earnings on January 16 after the markets close. The Jacksonville-headquartered rail carrier plans o hold an earnings conference call at 4:30 PM EST the same day to discuss the earnings.

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CSX’s stock performance

On December 14, CSX stock tumbled ~9% when he company announced the medical leave of former CEO E. Hunter Harrison, who passed away on December 16, 2017. Harrison’s health issues had been widely discussed in the North American railroad industry before the news broke.

CSX stock has been trading near a 52-week high of $59.7 per share. On January 11, the company’s stock closed on $58.7 per share. In the last year, CSX returned ~55%—which was he highest among its peer group. Take a look at peers’ stock returns in the last year.

  • Norfolk Southern (NSC): 39.3%
  • Canadian Pacific Railway (CP): 24.8%
  • Canadian National Railway (CNI): 15.4%
  • Kansas City Southern (KSU): 32.2%
  • Union Pacific (UNP): 34.6%
  • Genesee & Wyoming (GWR): 15.6%

During this timeframe, the benchmark transport stocks index SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN) returned 26.6%.

Changes at CSX’s top management

Among all the US railroads, CSX is the only carrier that has witnessed a lot of reshuffling in its top management. James Foote—who is new to the CSX environment—was promoted to CEO after Harrison’s demise. The company also witnessed the abrupt resignation of erstwhile COO Cindy Sanborn.

Longtime railroader Edmond Harris, who had worked with Hunter Harrison, became executive vice president of operations. The company’s chief marketing officer, Fredrik Eliasson, stepped down as per the company’s press release on October 25, 2017. Executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary Ellen Fitzsimmons also retired in November.

In this series

These changes might negatively impact the operational performance of CSX. Note that Harrison spearheaded CSX’s Precision Scheduled Railroading model, which is widely regarded as his brainchild in the railroad industry. In this CSX 4Q17 pre-earnings series, we’ll go through analysts’ estimates for revenue, earnings, and margins and compare the company’s valuation with peers’.

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