Net income for the first quarter of 2021 was $706 million, or 93 cents per share, compared with $770 million, or $1 per share, for the first quarter of 2020.
First-quarter revenue fell 1% year-over-year to $2.81 billion, with declines in merchandise, coal and fuel surcharge revenues offsetting gains for intermodal and other revenue growth, CSX said.
Meanwhile, expenses rose 2% to $1.71 billion on higher labor costs and costs for materials and supplies, as well as higher costs for equipment and rent. Operating income slipped 7% to $1.1 billion.
Operating ratio (OR), a tool that investors sometimes use to gauge the financial health of a company, was 60.9% for the first quarter, up from 58.7% for the first quarter of 2020. A lower OR can imply improved financial health.
“I am extremely proud of how our team of railroaders handled the challenges presented by the difficult operating conditions this quarter,” said CSX President and CEO Jim Foote. “Looking forward, the strengthening economic momentum is providing added visibility into volume growth, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are ready to handle these volumes and provide our customers with an industry-leading service product.”