Company, analysts are upbeat despite 2nd-quarter loss at CSX

July 24, 1992|By Thomas Easton | Thomas Easton,New York Bureau

NEW YORK -- Modest but widespread improvement in the overall economy played a pivotal role in strong core results reported yesterday by CSX Corp., a Virginia-based transportation company.

Speaking before more than 100 security analysts in New York, the company's chief executive, John Snow, said gains in traffic, "while not stupendous, were very strong and very broad. We are coming out of the recession; it's slow but steady. There has been talk of a triple-dip recession. We don't see that."

Adjusted for special charges and special gains, the company's second-quarter earnings rose to $128 million, or $1.25 a share, from $91 million, or $.91 a share.

The company's bottom line, however, was pushed into the red as CSX took a previously announced $699 million pretax -- $450 million after-tax -- one-time charge related to buyout provisions in labor contracts and a reduction in the size of crews in its rail operations. That resulted in the company reporting a net loss of $322 million for the period.

Analysts, however, were decidedly upbeat about the results, broadly praising the company for turning in stellar results.

Excluding the one-time expense, the company's rail operations earned $204 million, up 31 percent from last year, despite a two-day strike that the company estimated cost it $4 million to $5 million in earnings.

"This is the first quarter the company really delivered the goods in a long time," said Joel Price at the investment firm Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette. "And there's going to be more to come."

In the United States, shipments of autos, chemicals, and minerals were all up more than than 5 percent, and metals were up 27 percent.

Agriculture was flat, while food and consumer goods were down about 9 percent.

CSX Corp.

&Three months ended 06/30/92

....Revenue... .... .... Net.... .... .... Share

'92..2,189,000,000 ... (322,000,000)... (3.13)

'91..2,125,000,000... .115,000,000 ... ..1.15

% change +3.0... ... ... -- ... ... ... ... --

Six months ended 00/00/00

....Revenue.... .... ... Net.... ... .... Share

'92..4,563,000,000... ..(260,000,000)...(2.53)

'91..3,804,000,000... ..(24,000,000)... .1.73

% change +19.95... ... ...-- ... ... ... ...--

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