BofA cuts CSX share price target amid EPS decline

BofA cuts CSX share price target amid EPS decline

On Thursday, BofA Securities adjusted its outlook on NASDAQ:CSX (NASDAQ: CSX ), a leading transportation company, by reducing the share price target to $39 from the previous $40 while sustaining a Buy rating on the stock.

The adjustment follows CSX's first-quarter earnings report, which revealed a slight decline in earnings per share (EPS) year-over-year but still surpassed the anticipated figures.

CSX reported an EPS of $0.46 for the first quarter of 2024, a 2% decrease from the previous year, yet it was higher than the forecasted $0.45 by both BofA Securities and the wider analyst community.

Despite encountering operational hurdles such as severe weather in January and the Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, the company has reaffirmed its targets for 2024, projecting low- to mid-single digit growth in both volume and revenue. These projections align with BofA Securities' own estimates of a 4% increase in volume and a 2% rise in revenue.

The company's CEO, Joe Hinrichs, acknowledged that the collapse of Baltimore's Key Bridge would affect CSX's net monthly revenue by $25-$30 million, attributing this to an estimated loss of 22,000 carloads, or roughly 25% of CSX's export coal business. Despite this setback, CSX anticipates a recovery in export coal volumes by the end of May as it works to restore full channel depth.

CSX's operational performance has shown both progress and challenges, according to COO Mike Cory. While there has been a year-over-year dip in velocity and an increase in dwell times, the company continues to focus on customer service and balanced operations.

Kevin Boone, the Chief Commercial Officer, highlighted the company's industrial development pipeline. Over the past year, CSX has added 100 customer projects, which represent a $4.2 billion investment by partners. These projects are expected to bolster long-term growth across various sectors, including Metals & Equipment, Chemicals, and Electric Vehicles, which make up significant portions of the pipeline.

The transportation firm remains optimistic about its future, emphasizing momentum in its Merchandise, Intermodal, and Export Coal franchises, which are expected to contribute to the company's growth despite the recent challenges.

InvestingPro Insights

Following BofA Securities' revised outlook on CSX, incorporating real-time data from InvestingPro can provide a deeper understanding of the company's financial health and market position. CSX's management has demonstrated confidence in the company's prospects through aggressive share buybacks, and its commitment to shareholders is evident with a history of raising its dividend for 19 consecutive years. The company's strong gross profit margins, which stand at 48.41% for the last twelve months as of Q1 2024, further reinforce its operational efficiency.

InvestingPro data shows CSX with a market capitalization of $66.87 billion and a Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio of 18.51, reflecting the market's valuation of its earnings. Despite a slight decline in revenue growth, down 3.39% over the last twelve months, CSX maintains a robust operating income margin of 37.28%. Additionally, the company's dividend yield is currently at 1.41%, with a notable growth of 9.09% in the same period. These metrics suggest that CSX is maintaining its profitability and shareholder returns, even in the face of operational challenges.

For investors seeking more comprehensive analysis and additional insights, InvestingPro offers further information on CSX's financials, including the fact that the stock is currently trading at 85.14% of its 52-week high and has an InvestingPro fair value estimation of $32.94. Subscribers can access a wealth of InvestingPro Tips, with 13 more tips available, which could provide valuable guidance in making informed investment decisions. Use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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