Facing the most puzzling economy he has ever seen, CSX CEO James Foote is watching the market slowly fall to pieces.
A softer industrial market has CSX slashing its projected revenue in 2019. The railroad company now expects revenue to drop as much as 2 percent this year. The previous forecast for CSX included a 1-2 percent increase.
During a quarterly conference call on July 17, Foote noted both the global and U.S. economic conditions have affected volumes. “The present economic backdrop is one of the most puzzling I have experienced in my career,” he said. Foote has been CSX’s CEO since 2017 and his work experience in the railroad industry stretches back more than 40 years.
CSX second quarter revenue was supposed to hit $3.14 billion, but came in at $3.06 billion. CSX shares fell 11 percent the morning of July 18 and the company was on track to experience its worst day on Wall Street since 2008.
Philadelphia Energy shutting down its largest refinery due to an explosion has not helped CSX business. The refinery accounts for 1 percent of CSX’s annual shipping volume.
A resolution or clarity on trade tariffs with China could help many railroad companies, including CSX, make a strong push during the second half of 2019.