April 16, 2013 / 8:27 PM / 4 years ago

CSX profit rises despite coal struggles

A CSX coal train (R) moves past an idling CSX engine at the switchyard in Brunswick, Maryland October 16, 2012.Gary Cameron

(Reuters) - CSX Corp CSX.N, the No. 2 U.S. railroad, said on Tuesday that quarterly profit rose as it cut expenses and saw shipment volumes of some merchandise rise, helping the company fight a still-weak coal business.

Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX relies on coal shipments for nearly a third of its revenue. In the quarter, coal volumes fell 10 percent. Volumes of shipment of phosphates and fertilizers rose 5 percent.

The company, second to Union Pacific (UNP.N) in the industry, said it cut expenses by $27 million, mostly as it managed overtime and training costs better.

CSX earned $459 million, or 45 cents a share, in the first quarter ended March 29, on revenue of nearly $3 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting it to earn 40 cents a share, as per Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Last year, the company earned $449 million, or 43 cents a share. Revenue came in at $2.96 billion.

CSX also approved a 7 percent increase to its quarterly dividend and a new $1.0 billion share buyback program.

Shares of the company were trading at $24.18 Tuesday after the bell. They closed at $24.14 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlosky and Alden Bentley

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