January 16, 2019 / 9:27 PM / a year ago

CSX beats profit forecast on volume, pricing gains

LOS ANGELES, Jan 16 (Reuters) - CSX Corp on Wednesday reported quarterly profit that topped Wall Street's view, on increased shipments by the No. 3 U.S. railroad operator and higher prices for transporting freight.

Fourth-quarter net earnings were $843 million, or $1.01 per share, versus $4.14 billion, or $4.62 per share, last year when it booked a tax reform benefit resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and a restructuring charge.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 99 cents per share for the latest quarter, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Its operating ratio, a measure of operating expenses as a percentage of revenue and a closely watched gauge of railroad performance, was 60.3 percent versus 60.7 percent in the year-earlier quarter. Railroads boost profits by lowering their operating ratio.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard Chang

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