By The Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – CSX said its profit declined 9% in the fourth quarter as the railroad hauled 7% less freight. The Jacksonville, Florida, based railroad said Thursday it earned $771 million, or 99 cents per share, in the quarter. That’s down from $843 million, or $1.01 per share, a year ago. The results topped the 97 cents per share profit that the analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected. CSX said its revenue declined 8% to $2.89 billion because of the volume decline, but the railroad cut its expenses 9% to $1.73 billion in the quarter. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.92 billion revenue. For the full year, CSX said its profit grew 1% to $3.33 billion, or $4.17 per share. That’s up from $3.31 billion, or $3.84 per share, a year ago. That was in line with the $4.17 analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted. CSX operates more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 Eastern states and two Canadian provinces. Its shares have climbed roughly 6% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased almost 3%. They were down about 3.6% in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.