CSX 1Q13 Earnings Call Notes

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This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“Total volume declined 2% in the quarter versus the same period last year”

“domestic coal headwinds persist, although we expect volume to be relatively stable on a sequential basis. For the full year, we continue to anticipate domestic volume will decline about 5% to 10%. At the same time, our best estimate for 2013 export coal volume remains about 40 million tons and year-over-year pricing decline should moderate throughout the year.”

“Overall merchandise revenue increased 2% to over $1.7 billion. Chemicals was the key driver in the industrial sector growing 11% on strength and energy related products, including crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas and frac sand. In the agricultural sector, feed grain shipments to the Southeast were lower as a result of last year’s severe drought in the Midwest. In addition, ethanol shipments declined as a result of lower production, increased competition from imports and lower gasoline demand.

Regarding the construction sector, building products and aggregates increased on the strength of a slowly improving housing environment. However, this was partially offset by lower shipments of paper products as the use of electronic media continues to replace paper. Looking at the second quarter, in the industrial sector, we continue to see growth opportunities in chemicals, particularly in commodities related to the oil and gas drilling.

The automotive market will remain strong although we are now cycling tougher comparables. We expect the agricultural sector to remain soft with lower grain shipments and continued weakness in ethanol, more than offsetting increased fertilizer demand. Finally we anticipate a slow steady recovery in the construction sector will drive growth in building products and aggregates.”

“Over the next several months we envision a transition period where coal begins to stabilize at a lower level”

“Our military shipments have been down. This is second, almost third year in row, that our military shipments have been down. They are mainly being impacted, on a year-over-year basis, by the war material that we were sending overseas…its not as much about sequestration as war. It was the war.”