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High Oil Prices Helped & Hurt CSX: CEO Ward

High oil prices benefited— and— hurt railway company CSX in the last quarter, Michael Ward, chairman, president & CEO, told CNBC Wednesday.

"We're three to four times more fuel efficient than the trucks are," he said. "Obviously, the higher [oil] prices do give us somewhat of a competitive advantage."

Even though demand and rising prices for shipping offset higher fuel costs, he added, the company was not immune to the rise in energy.

"We're real pleased with the productivity we had in this quarter, but that fuel cost was a big hit," he said.

The railroad firm earned $395 million $1.06 a share, up from $305 million or 78 cents a share a year ago.

CSX also benefited from a soft US dollar, said Ward, which gave a 45 percent boost to its US coal exports this quarter.

"There's a strong demand for the US coal market," he said.

The company plans to spend a record $2 billion this year expanding its car fleets and terminals, said Ward.

"We're very optimistic about where this economy is going."