U.S. railroad CSX Corp said on Monday that its profit rose 36 percent in the second quarter, beating analysts' expectations, as volume improved across the varied markets the company serves.
CSX said net income totaled $414 million, or $1.07 per share, compared with $305 million, or $0.77 cents a share, in the same period last year.
Not counting discontinued operations, net income rose 47 percent and earnings per share were up 51 percent from a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting 98 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX said revenue in the second quarter increased 22 percent from the prior year to nearly $2.7 billion.
The company's shares rose 1.1 percent to $53.05 in extended trading on Monday after it reported its second-quarter results.
CSX said automotive volume jumped 63 percent due to an increase in North American light vehicle production driven by higher sales and lower inventory levels. A rebounding steel market helped fuel a 44 percent gain in CSX's metals shipment volume.
And the railroad's chemical business volume rose 10 percent year over year in a reflection of improved demand for intermediate products used in the automotive and consumer goods markets.
While the economy remains dynamic, our markets overall continue to improve and our outlook remains positive, said CSX Chairman Michael Ward.
The company's coal business volume lagged other markets, declining 4 percent, but coal-related revenue rose 12 percent. CSX said revenue per unit improved by longer hauling lengths. Export shipments were higher due to greater Asian demand, while domestic utility customer shipments were lower because of continuing high stockpiles of coal.
And food and consumer-related volumes were flat as CSX said increased shipments of refrigerated products and canned goods were offset by weakness in demand for appliances and alcoholic beverages.
Revenue growth and continued operating leverage drove record operating income of $768 million and an operating ratio of 71.2 percent.
Helping results, during the second quarter of 2010, the company recorded a net tax and interest benefit of $15 million, or 4 cents per share, primarily related to the resolution of a federal income tax audit.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; editing by Andre Grenon)