CSX Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
CSX Corporation (“CSX”), and together with its subsidiaries (the “Company”), based in Jacksonville, Florida, is one of the nation's leading transportation companies. The Company provides rail-based freight transportation services including traditional rail service, the transport of intermodal containers and trailers, as well as other transportation services such as rail-to-truck transfers and bulk commodity operations. CSX and the rail industry provide customers with access to an expansive and interconnected transportation network that plays a key role in North American commerce and is critical to the long-term economic success and improved global competitiveness of the United States. In addition, freight railroads provide the most economical and environmentally efficient means to transport goods over land.
The Company’s number of employees was approximately 24,000 as of December 2017, which includes approximately 20,000 union employees. Most of the Company’s employees provide or support transportation services.
CSX Transportation, Inc.
CSX’s principal operating subsidiary, CSX Transportation, Inc. (“CSXT”), provides an important link to the transportation supply chain through its approximately 21,000 route mile rail network, which serves major population centers in 23 states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It has access to over 70 ocean, river and lake port terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. This access allows the Company to meet the dynamic transportation needs of manufacturers, industrial producers, the automotive industry, construction companies, farmers and feed mills, wholesalers and retailers, and energy producers. The Company’s intermodal business links customers to railroads via trucks and terminals. CSXT also serves thousands of production and distribution facilities through track connections with other Class I railroads and approximately 230 short-line and regional railroads.
CSXT is now responsible for the Company's real estate sales, leasing, acquisition and management and development activities after a merger with CSX Real Property, Inc., a former wholly-owned CSX subsidiary, on July 1, 2017. In addition, as substantially all real estate sales, leasing, acquisition and management and development activities are focused on supporting railroad operations, all results of these activities are included in operating income beginning in 2017. Previously, the results of these activities were classified as operating or non-operating based on the nature of the activity and were not material for any periods presented.
Lines of Business
During 2017, the Company's services generated $11.4 billion of revenue and served three primary lines of business: merchandise, coal and intermodal.
• The merchandise business shipped 2.7 million carloads and generated 62 percent of revenue and 42 percent of volume in 2017. The Company’s merchandise business is comprised of shipments in the following diverse markets: chemicals, automotive, agricultural and food products, minerals, fertilizers, forest products, and metals and equipment.
• The coal business shipped 855 thousand carloads and accounted for 18 percent of revenue and 13 percent of volume in 2017. The Company transports domestic coal, coke and iron ore to electricity-generating power plants, steel manufacturers and industrial plants as well as export coal to deep-water port facilities. Roughly one-third of export coal and the majority of the domestic coal that the Company transports is used for generating electricity.
• The intermodal business accounted for 16 percent of revenue and 44 percent of volume in 2017. The intermodal business combines the superior economics of rail transportation with the short-haul flexibility of trucks and offers a cost advantage over long-haul trucking. Through a network of more than 40 terminals, the intermodal business serves all major markets east of the Mississippi River and transports mainly manufactured consumer goods in containers, providing customers with truck-like service for longer shipments.
Other revenue accounted for 4 percent of the Company’s total revenue in 2017. This category includes revenue from regional subsidiary railroads, demurrage, revenue for customer volume commitments not met, switching, other incidental charges and adjustments to revenue reserves. Revenue from regional railroads includes shipments by railroads that the Company does not directly operate. Demurrage represents charges assessed when freight cars or other equipment are held beyond a specified period of time. Switching revenue is primarily generated when CSXT switches cars for a customer or another railroad.
In addition to CSXT, the Company’s subsidiaries include CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. (“CSX Intermodal Terminals”), Total Distribution Services, Inc. (“TDSI”), Transflo Terminal Services, Inc. (“Transflo”), CSX Technology, Inc. (“CSX Technology”) and other subsidiaries. CSX Intermodal Terminals owns and operates a system of intermodal terminals, predominantly in the eastern United States and also performs drayage services (the pickup and delivery of intermodal shipments) for certain customers and trucking dispatch operations. TDSI serves the automotive industry with distribution centers and storage locations. Transflo connects non-rail served customers to the many benefits of rail by transferring products from rail to trucks. The biggest Transflo markets are chemicals and agriculture, which includes shipments of plastics and ethanol. CSX Technology and other subsidiaries provide support services for the Company.
In 2017, the Company began transitioning its operating model to scheduled railroading, which is focused on developing and strictly maintaining a scheduled service plan with an emphasis on optimizing assets. When the operating model is executed effectively, customer service is improved, costs are reduced and free cash flow is generated, allowing financial growth. E. Hunter Harrison created and refined the model during his decades of railroad leadership experience, successfully implementing it at three different railroads prior to being named CEO of CSX in March 2017. In October 2017, the Company hired James M. Foote, a railroad executive with extensive scheduled railroading experience, as Chief Operating Officer. Upon Mr. Harrison's death in December 2017, Foote was appointed CEO by the Board of Directors to continue driving CSX's transformation under the new operating model. Additionally, Edmond L. Harris was named Executive Vice President of Operations in January 2018, further strengthening the scheduled railroading experience of the leadership team.
A leader in freight rail transportation for more than 190 years, the Company’s heritage dates back to the early nineteenth century when The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company (“B&O”) – the nation’s first common carrier – was chartered in 1827. Since that time, the Company has built on this foundation to create a railroad that could safely and reliably service the ever-increasing demands of a growing nation.
Since its founding, numerous railroads have combined with the former B&O through merger and consolidation to create what has become CSX. Each of the railroads that combined into the CSX family brought new geographical reach to valuable markets, gateways, cities, ports and transportation corridors.
CSX was incorporated in 1978 under Virginia law. In 1980, the Company completed the merger of the Chessie System and Seaboard Coast Line Industries into CSX. The merger allowed the Company to connect northern population centers and Appalachian coal fields to growing southeastern markets. Later, the Company’s acquisition of key portions of Conrail, Inc. ("Conrail") allowed CSXT to link the northeast, including New England and the New York metropolitan area, with Chicago and midwestern markets as well as the growing areas in the Southeast already served by CSXT. This current rail network allows the Company to directly serve every major market in the eastern United States with safe, dependable, environmentally responsible and fuel efficient freight transportation and intermodal service.
The business environment in which the Company operates is highly competitive. Shippers typically select transportation providers that offer the most compelling combination of service and price. Service requirements, both in terms of transit time and reliability, vary by shipper and commodity. As a result, the Company’s primary competition varies by commodity, geographic location and mode of available transportation and includes other railroads, motor carriers that operate similar routes across its service area and, to a less significant extent, barges, ships and pipelines.
CSXT’s primary rail competitor is Norfolk Southern Railway, which operates throughout much of the Company’s territory. Other railroads also operate in parts of the Company’s territory. Depending on the specific market, competing railroads and deregulated motor carriers may exert pressure on price and service levels. For further discussion on the risk of competition to the Company, see Item 1A. Risk Factors.
The Company's operations are subject to various federal, state, provincial (Canada) and local laws and regulations generally applicable to businesses operating in the United States and Canada. In the U.S., the railroad operations conducted by the Company's subsidiaries, including CSXT, are subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”), the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”), and its sister agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT"), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”). Together, FRA and PHMSA have broad jurisdiction over railroad operating standards and practices, including track, freight cars, locomotives and hazardous materials requirements. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has regulatory authority with respect to matters that impact the Company's properties and operations. The EPA is considering regulatory action directed towards the railroad industry governing the disposal of creosote cross-ties and seeking to increase air emission regulations that may impact our operations or increase costs. Similarly, the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, has broad authority over railroad operating practices that may have homeland security implications. In Canada, the railroad operations conducted by the Company’s subsidiaries, including CSXT, are subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Canadian Transportation Agency.