Net earnings came in at $553 million or an all-time record of $0.56 per share, an increase from the reported $529 million or $0.53 per share of the second quarter of 2014. CSX expects to deliver mid-to-high single digit earnings per share growth for 2015.
“While we saw challenges in a number of markets, CSX employees delivered an even safer, more reliable and more differentiated service product this quarter,” Chairman and CEO Michael J. Ward said. “We expect the momentum in network performance we saw in the second quarter to accelerate, continuing to create value for our customers and shareholders.”
Revenue declined six percent due to the impact of lower fuel recovery. At the same time, continued low fuel prices and savings from efficiency initiatives reduced expenses for the railroad by nine percent.
Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.
Operating income saw a decrease of 13 percent to $187 million. Operating ratio saw a 1.1-point increase to 68.1 percent compared with last year’s second quarter operating ratio of 68.3 percent. Reported net income totaled $112 million or $1.01 per share, a 15 percent decrease compared to the reported $130 million or $1.18 per diluted share for the second quarter 2014.
Overall, the railroad reported that carload volumes were six percent lower for the quarter. Second quarter revenue declined in all commodity groups except chemicals and petroleum, which grew by one percent. However, operating expenses also saw a decrease of eight percent to $399 million.
“KCS continued to scale its operations in both the U.S. and Mexico and has made strides in improving its network fluidity,” stated CEO David L. Starling. “Our actions contributed to the company attaining a solid second quarter operating ratio despite volume challenges, particularly in its energy commodity group. We expect our system performance and operating metrics to continue to improve throughout the remainder of the year.
“As evidenced in the weekly industry carload data, there are still uncertainties in many of the primary markets served by rail. However, KCS’ average daily volumes increased each month throughout the second quarter and the initial results from the first few weeks of July suggest the positive trend may be continuing.”