Higher target price
Analysts increased CSX’s (CSX) target price after it reported strong first-quarter results on April 16. On April 17, Morgan Stanley (MS) raised its target price on the stock to $57 from $55, while Baird increased the target price to $83 from $81 on April 16.
The analysts polled by Reuters have provided a consensus “buy” recommendation and a consensus rating for ~2.38 for CSX. However, the consensus target price shows very limited upside potential in the stock.
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Among the 26 analysts covering the stock, 12 recommended a “strong buy” or “buy” recommendation, 13 recommended a “hold,” and one recommended a “sell.” The target price of $79.83 shows an increase of 5.2% in a year.
Analysts have a similar view on most of CSX’s Class I railroad peers. They have provided a “buy” recommendation on most railroad companies (IYT). Analysts don’t see much upside potential in the stock prices in a year.
Analysts have provided a consensus “buy” recommendation on Norfolk Southern (NSC), Union Pacific (UNP), and Kansas City Southern (KSU). However, the target prices on Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and Kansas City Southern reflect returns of 2.6%, 6.1%, and 7.5%, respectively.
Stock price performance
So far this year, CSX stock has risen 22.1%. CSX has outperformed the returns of major US indexes. The Dow Jones, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500 have gained 13.4%, 20.6%, and 16% YTD (year-to-date), respectively. Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, and Norfolk Southern have registered YTD gains of 21.5%, 23.6%, and 29.2%, respectively.