JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CSX Corporation (Nasdaq:CSX) today announced an 11 percent increase in its quarterly dividend, a new $1 billion share repurchase program, and strong financial guidance as it applies the Precision Scheduled Railroading model to its operations.
“Although we are just in the beginning phase of making changes to our network, we are off to a great start,” said E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer. “These changes are critical to driving strong, sustainable service for our customers and superior value for our shareholders.”
By focusing on these principles, CSX expects to realize record efficiency gains and a step-function improvement in its key financial measures for the year given continued economic growth and stable coal markets. Adjusting for restructuring charges in 2017, these actions are expected to drive a full-year operating ratio in the mid-60s, earnings per share growth of around 25 percent off the 2016 reported base of $1.81, and free cash flow before dividends of around $1.5 billion (see non-GAAP statements below).
Recent changes to the company’s operations have already begun to deliver strong returns and are expected to accelerate in the coming quarters. Given this momentum, the CSX Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.18 to $0.20. The new $0.20 quarterly dividend is payable on June 15, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 31, 2017.
In addition, the Board also approved a new $1 billion share repurchase program, which management expects to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2018. This follows the successful completion of CSX’s previous repurchase plan, during which the company bought back $2 billion worth of shares since April 2015.
In line with the company’s balanced approach in deploying capital, CSX now expects to invest $2.1 billion in 2017, including approximately $270 million for Positive Train Control. Of the 2017 investment, more than half will be used to sustain core infrastructure with the balance allocated to projects supporting profitable growth, efficiency initiatives and service improvements.
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 over 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.
CSX reports its financial results in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (U.S. GAAP). CSX uses certain non-GAAP measures that fall within the meaning of Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation G and Regulation S-K Item 10(e), which may provide users of the financial information with additional meaningful comparison to prior reported results. Non-GAAP measures do not have standardized definitions and are not defined by U.S. GAAP. Therefore, CSX’s non-GAAP measures are unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The presentation of these non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation from, as a substitute for, or as superior to the financial information presented in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to corresponding GAAP measures are above.
Forward Looking Non-GAAP Measures
CSX presents non-GAAP or adjusted operating ratio and adjusted net earnings per share, assuming dilution on a forward-looking basis. The most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measure is operating ratio and net earnings per share, assuming dilution. CSX is unable to provide a quantitative reconciliation of these forward-looking non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable forward-looking GAAP measure, because CSX cannot reliably forecast the timing and amount of future restructuring charges and other charges related to the change of leadership and strategy which are difficult to predict and estimate. Please note that the unavailable reconciling items could significantly impact CSX’s future financial GAAP results.
This information and other statements by the company may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act with respect to, among other items: projections and estimates of earnings, revenues, margins, volumes, rates, cost-savings, expenses, taxes, liquidity, capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases or other financial items, statements of management's plans, strategies and objectives for future operations, and management's expectations as to future performance and operations and the time by which objectives will be achieved, statements concerning proposed new services, and statements regarding future economic, industry or market conditions or performance. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “preliminary” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. If the company updates any forward-looking statement, no inference should be drawn that the company will make additional updates with respect to that statement or any other forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and actual performance or results could differ materially from that anticipated by any forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by any forward- looking statements include, among others; (i) the company's success in implementing its financial and operational initiatives; (ii) changes in domestic or international economic, political or business conditions, including those affecting the transportation industry (such as the impact of industry competition, conditions, performance and consolidation); (iii) legislative or regulatory changes; (iv) the inherent business risks associated with safety and security; (v) the outcome of claims and litigation involving or affecting the company; (vi) natural events such as severe weather conditions or pandemic health crises; and (vii) the inherent uncertainty associated with projecting economic and business conditions.
Other important assumptions and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are specified in the company's SEC reports, accessible on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov and the company's website at www.csx.com.
Contacts: David Baggs, Investor Relations 904-359-4812 Lauren Rueger, Corporate Communications 904-366-4211