JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CSX (NYSE: CSX) Chief Financial Officer Fredrik Eliasson today discussed the drivers of a decade of strong financial performance for the company, updated its first-quarter market outlook and discussed earnings expectations for 2015 at the JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference in New York City.
At the conference, Eliasson highlighted the company's sustained record of superior shareholder value creation over the past decade, which leveraged its network reach and balanced portfolio of business to overcome the global recession and transition in the energy markets. This performance provides a strong foundation for 2015 as CSX expects its merchandise and intermodal markets to continue to grow faster than the overall economy.
At the same time, Eliasson indicated that CSX's domestic coal volume is now expected to decline at least 5 percent, reflecting the relatively mild winter weather and low natural gas prices. He also noted that as oil prices remain low, the company expects growth in crude oil shipments to be more moderate than originally expected.
"We continue to expect strong earnings growth in the first quarter as merchandise and intermodal customers see growth opportunities and recognize the value and efficiency of freight rail service," Eliasson said. "By leveraging price and efficiency gains combined with expected volume increases, we continue to target double-digit earnings growth for the full-year 2015, though achieving that goal will be more challenging with the expected decline in coal movements."
Eliasson also reinforced the foundation of the company's strategy for creating superior shareholder value is delivering service excellence for its customers. That allows CSX to maximize its three key value levers: growing its merchandise and intermodal business faster than the economy, pricing above inflation and driving efficiency in operations.
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CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.