CSX Corporation (CSX) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of CSX have outperformed its industry in a year. The company's third-quarter earnings improved 6.3% year over year. Revenues in the quarter also improved owing to core pricing gains. The improved coal scenario is also encouraging. Coal revenues improved 10% in third-quarter. Moreover, the company expects bottom line to expand between 20% and 25% in 2017 owing to improved effciencies. Additionally, Operating ratio in the high end of mid-60s is expected in 2017. However, the company reported lower than expected revenues in the third quarter. The year over year decline in merchandise revenues is also concerning. CSX's high debt levels is also worrisome. Sluggish automotive production presents a further challenge to the company. Automotive sector revenues declined 12% in the third quarter. The recent service disruptions also do not bode well for the company. “

CSX has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Loop Capital restated a hold rating and set a $54.00 price objective (up previously from $52.00) on shares of CSX Corporation in a report on Saturday, July 22nd. BidaskClub upgraded CSX Corporation from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on CSX Corporation from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. UBS AG restated a buy rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of CSX Corporation in a report on Monday, August 14th. Finally, Aegis restated a buy rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of CSX Corporation in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. CSX Corporation has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $56.76.

CSX Corporation (CSX) traded down $0.31 on Friday, reaching $51.31. The company had a trading volume of 3,931,259 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,054,509. CSX Corporation has a one year low of $30.92 and a one year high of $55.48. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.08. The stock has a market cap of $45,856.93, a PE ratio of 23.87, a P/E/G ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.33.

CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 17th. The transportation company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51. CSX Corporation had a return on equity of 17.28% and a net margin of 15.45%. The company had revenue of $2.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.77 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.48 EPS. CSX Corporation’s revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that CSX Corporation will post 2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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CSX Corporation declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, July 18th that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the transportation company to purchase up to 1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 30th will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.56%. CSX Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 41.24%.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. increased its position in CSX Corporation by 0.7% during the 1st quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 7,549 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $351,000 after buying an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Simmons Bank increased its position in CSX Corporation by 0.8% during the 1st quarter. Simmons Bank now owns 12,633 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $588,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. increased its position in CSX Corporation by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 20,498 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $1,118,000 after buying an additional 146 shares in the last quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC increased its position in CSX Corporation by 3.4% during the 1st quarter. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC now owns 6,143 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $288,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC increased its position in CSX Corporation by 14.9% during the 2nd quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 2,194 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 285 shares in the last quarter. 71.17% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

CSX Corporation Company Profile

CSX Corporation is a transportation company. The Company provides rail-based freight transportation services, including traditional rail service and transport of intermodal containers and trailers, as well as other transportation services, such as rail-to-truck transfers and bulk commodity operations.

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