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Rail operator CSX boosts 1Q profit on higher rates
Higher rates boost 1Q earnings at freight railroad CSX, coal shipments decline
By The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) ' Higher rates are helping freight railroad CSX Corp. boost profits by 14 percent despite lower coal shipments.

CSX said Tuesday that it earned $449 million, or 43 cents per share, in the first quarter, up from $395 million, or 35 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts expected 38 cents per share, according to9 FactSet.

Freight volumes rose just 1 percent, and coal shipments tumbled by 14 percent. Overall rates rose 5 percent, and coal rates jumped 10 percent.

A big drop in natural gas prices and a mild winter made for sluggish demand for coal used to generate power. CSX says the market for utility coal is likely to be even weaker in the second quarter, but the company says it's on track to top 2011 earnings this year.

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