CSX’s net earnings grew in the fourth quarter despite a drop in revenue. The Jacksonville,Fla.,-based railroad announced adjusted net earnings of $573 million or 64 cents a share for the fourth quarter, compared to $458 million and 49 cents for the same period of 2016.
In addition to that, the nation’s third-largest railroad reported a $3.6 billion benefit result from the federal tax bill approved by Congress last month.
Revenue for the quarter decreased $174 million or 6% over the fourth quarter of 2016 while expenses were down $291 million or 14%. The railroad attributed part of that to the fact that the fourth quarter of 2016 had an extra week.
CSX stock fell 0.5% Jan. 16 in afterhours trading after the report came out. It continued to fall again the morning of Jan. 17, but then rose. It was $57.75 shortly before noon on Jan. 17 after peaking Jan. 16 at $59.87.
In a conference call Jan. 16, Foote said that one of his first actions was to bulldoze an Atlanta hump yard that Harrison had closed. It’s one of a dozen that CSX closed under Harrison. More than 4,000 employees were laid off last year.
“Atlanta hump yard today is flat,” Foote said. “There is no turning back. I did make changes to the sales and marketing structure to simplify the organization by collapsing the leadership group into three business units and aligning certain functions into other departments.
“I made changes in the operating department to bring clarity to the key responsibilities. The operating department both at the staff and field levels obviously has the most responsibility to execute and deliver the efficiencies and service improvements from schedule railroading.”