Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. They currently have $74.00 price target on the transportation company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of CSX Corporation have outperformed its industry and fellow railroad operator, Union Pacific, in the past six months. Additionally, CSX is benefiting from the Precision Scheduled Railroading system, which was implemented by the company’s former CEO — E. Hunter Harrison — who expired in December 2017. The system, designed to improve its operational efficiency, is being backed by CSX’s current CEO Jim Foote. Furthermore, improvement in operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) is in tune with the company’s cost control efforts. Strong performance of its intermodal segment is also a positive for the stock. Efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks are commendable as well. Nevertheless, below-par performance of its automotive unit is a concern. The company's high debt levels represent a further challenge. “
A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on CSX. BidaskClub cut shares of CSX from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. UBS Group set a $72.00 target price on shares of CSX and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Credit Suisse Group lowered their target price on shares of CSX from $67.00 to $65.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of CSX from $51.00 to $47.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, Scotiabank set a $63.00 target price on shares of CSX and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $65.90.
CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 17th. The transportation company reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.12. CSX had a net margin of 50.85% and a return on equity of 18.00%. The company had revenue of $2.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.51 EPS. The business’s revenue was up .2% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that CSX will post 3.26 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 31st were paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 30th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.37%. CSX’s dividend payout ratio is 38.26%.
In related news, CEO James M. Foote bought 5,000 shares of CSX stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 2nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $59.91 per share, for a total transaction of $299,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. 5.03% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its position in shares of CSX by 7.3% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 11,455,907 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $638,209,000 after purchasing an additional 783,705 shares in the last quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. lifted its position in shares of CSX by 254.1% during the first quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 6,305,842 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $351,298,000 after purchasing an additional 4,524,823 shares in the last quarter. Eaton Vance Management lifted its position in shares of CSX by 3.6% during the first quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 5,298,524 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $295,180,000 after purchasing an additional 185,534 shares in the last quarter. Alleghany Corp DE lifted its position in shares of CSX by 20.9% during the first quarter. Alleghany Corp DE now owns 5,180,000 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $288,577,000 after purchasing an additional 895,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in CSX by 0.6% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,598,857 shares of the transportation company’s stock valued at $256,202,000 after buying an additional 25,312 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 75.28% of the company’s stock.
CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides rail-based transportation services in the United States and Canada. The company offers rail services, as well as transports intermodal containers and trailers. It transports agricultural and food products, fertilizers, chemicals, automotive, metals and equipment, minerals, and forest products; and coal, coke, and iron ore to electricity-generating power plants, steel manufacturers, and industrial plants.
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