CSX quarterly profit beats estimates on lower costs; shares rise

(Reuters) - CSX Corp CSX.O reported a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, as cost cuts helped the U.S. railroad offset lower volumes of shipment in its coal and intermodal units, sending shares up about 2%.

The company’s operating ratio fell to 56.8% in the third quarter from 58.7% a year ago. A lower operating ratio means improved profits for railroads.

Costs fell 8% to $1.69 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, driven partly by lower fuel prices.

Results come as U.S. President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with Beijing has pushed rail freight volumes lower this year, and worries of freight recession have plagued the U.S. transportation industry.

Revenue fell 4.8% to $2.98 billion in the quarter.

Sales in the company’s intermodal unit – which moves cargo using multiple modes of transportation - slipped 10.6%.

Net income fell 4.3% to $856 million, or $1.08 per share. Analysts on average had expected CSX to post earnings of $1.01 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli