Thursday, April 18, 2013

Investopedia: CSX Adapating To New Realities

It wasn't long ago at all that the rails seemed to have things pretty much all going their way. Better management was producing better margins, pricing advantages over trucking were leading to good intermodal growth, and a recovering economy was supporting higher traffic and strong pricing. Then came a structural shift in electricity generation and a serious drought that hammered both coal and agricultural volumes.

To its credit, eastern rail operator CSX (NYSE:CSX) is rolling with the punches. The company is largely through the worst of the volume reset caused by declining coal demand, and while management has stretched out its margin improvement targets, there's still a pretty good case to be made for solid operating performance over the next few years. Unfortunately, the market has been quick to anticipate this and the shares don't look like a tremendous bargain today.

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