Rail conglomerate CSX Corp. of Richmond, VA, saw its net income in the fourth quarter of 2001 rise to $65 million, up from $54 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. That's after excluding an after tax expense of $37 million for a proposed settlement of litigation filed against the company following a 1987 tank car fire in New Orleans. Without that litigation charge, CSX would have posted net income of $102 million.
Despite the recession, CSX said its surface transportation businesses, which includes rail and intermodal units, had its strongest earnings since the first quarter of 1999. Operating income was $246 million, excluding the litigation provision, up from $205 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.
While revenues and carloads were down in the current period, cost takeouts and lower fuel expenses brought surface transportation's operating ratio down to 86.2% versus 88.7% in last year's fourth quarter.
For 2001, CSX net income from continuing operations topped $293 million, a huge increase from the $186 million it generated in 2000. Excluding the litigation provision, net income from continuing operations would have been $330 million - an increase of 77% over 2000.