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CSX Chief Financial Officer Discusses Near- and Long-Term Expectations and Strategy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CSX (Nasdaq:CSX) Chief Financial Officer Frank Lonegro today highlighted the company’s track record of success during the energy market transition and updated expectations for company performance at the Barclays Industrial Select Conference in Miami, Florida.

Over the past five years, CSX has grown its merchandise and intermodal business faster than the economy and delivered strong pricing and efficiency gains in the face of a secular decline in coal and shifts in other energy markets. As a result, the company delivered compound annual growth in earnings per share of 4 percent during that period and an operating ratio below 70 percent for 2015.

However, the intensifying coal headwinds and the impact of the strong U.S. dollar and low global commodity prices that impacted CSX in 2015 are expected to further challenge results in 2016. CSX expects coal volume to decline more than 20 percent and most other markets to continue posting year-over-year declines this year.

“Based on the trends so far this year, we expect volume to decline in the mid-high single digits this quarter and to gradually moderate as we move through the year,” Lonegro said. “We expect first quarter earnings to decline significantly, reflecting both this volume environment and the fact that we are cycling more than $100 million in unique items from the first quarter of 2015.”

For 2016, the company continues to target $200 million in productivity savings. In addition, Lonegro reiterated that CSX continues working to further reduce structural resources and to match resources with volume declines near term while also remaining well-positioned to serve demand shifts once the economic challenges begin to subside.

“In this environment, we continue to focus on the things most in our control, including delivering safe, reliable service that increases operational efficiency and supports strong pricing for the value we provide to customers,” Lonegro said. “As we look toward a future with significantly less coal, our strategy includes rationalizing and realigning the network to match decreased demand in some markets and adjust to increases in others, investing in clearance and terminal projects to leverage intermodal growth, and optimizing technology to serve the CSX of tomorrow as we continue to target a mid-60s operating ratio longer term.”

About CSX and its Disclosures

CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 190 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.

This announcement, as well as additional financial information, is available on the company's website at http://investors.csx.com. CSX also uses social media channels to communicate information about the company. Although social media channels are not intended to be the primary method of disclosure for material information, it is possible that certain information CSX posts on social media could be deemed to be material.

Therefore, we encourage investors, the media, and others interested in the company to review the information we post on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX) and on Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/HowTomorrowMoves).

The social media channels used by CSX may be updated from time to time. More information about the company and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX).

Contact: David Baggs, Investor Relations 904-359-4812 Melanie Cost, Corporate Communications 904-359-1702

Source:CSX Corporation