Coronavirus could impact financial returns according to Union Pacific, CSX

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
CSX announces Q1 2020 financial results.
David C. Lester

Significant financial impacts could result from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Union Pacific and CSX, FreightWaves reports. The statements by CSX and Union Pacific were included in reports filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

In it’s filing, Union Pacific said “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s 2020 financial and operating results, which may be material, is highly uncertain and depends on numerous factors including but not limited to the impact of federal, state and local government regulations; the effect of the pandemic’s economic impact on demand for the company’s services; and potential disruption to global supply chains.”

CSX’s statement was very similar: “The ultimate magnitude of COVID-19, including the extent of its impact on the company’s financial and operating results, which could be material, will be determined by the length of time that the pandemic continues, its effect on the demand for the company’s transportation services and the supply chain, as well as the effect of governmental regulations imposed in response to the pandemic.”

CSX went on to say “Public and private sector policies and initiatives to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as the imposition of travel restrictions, the promotion of social distancing and the adoption of work-from-home and online learning by companies and institutions, could adversely affect demand for the commodities and products that the company transports, including import and export volume,” and added ““In addition, COVID-19 and the related initiatives may result in supply chain disruption, which could have an adverse impact on volumes and make it more difficult for the company to serve its customers.” 

CSX also said “The extent to which the coronavirus impacts our operations will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration of the outbreak, new information, which may emerge concerning the severity of the coronavirus and the actions to contain the coronavirus or treat its impact, among others. Moreover, our operations could be negatively affected if employees are quarantined as the result of exposure to a contagious illness.”

On March 18, RT&S reported that Kansas City Southern expressed concern about the impact of the virus on its financial guidance for 2020.

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