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CSX Profit Up on Better Per-Carload Revenue

U.S. railroad CSX posted a better-than-expected profit Tuesday, citing higher revenue per carload that offset lower freight volumes.

The company reported third-quarter net income of $407 million, or 91 cents per share, compared with $328 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Shares in the transportation company gained 92 cents, or 2.15 percent, at $43.75 in after-hours trade Tuesday.

Like the other major U.S. railroads, CSX has so far managed to keep its prices firm despite the slowdown in the housing sector and the problems of the country's domestic automakers.

Excluding a 24 cent per share gain from discontinued operations, CSX earned 67 cents per share for the quarter, compared with 54 cents in the same quarter of 2006 after excluding 17 cents per share in tax benefits and insurance payments.

That net figure of 67 cents came in above the earnings per share of 62 cents that Wall Street analysts had expected, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said revenue in the quarter had risen 3 percent over the previous year to $2.5 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $2.49 billion. The higher revenue came from an 8 percent increase in revenue per unit that offset a 4 percent decline in freight volumes, CSX said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, activist hedge fund The Children's Investment Master Fund called on Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX to make a number of management changes, including separating the roles of chairman and chief executive, plus bringing in new board members with more railroad experience.

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