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CSX optimistic about profits after coal stabilizes

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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:54 am | Updated: 10:33 am, Fri Aug 16, 2013.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — CSX railroad officials predict strong profit growth in 2014 and 2015, once coal shipments stabilize at a lower level this year.

CSX chairman, president and CEO Michael Ward said Wednesday that the railroad has dealt with the current decline in coal shipments, which is driven by relatively low natural gas prices.

Company officials are telling investors to expect 10- to 15 percent earnings growth in 2014 and 2015, after flat results this year. Ward says economic growth will boost the railroad's profits, once coal stabilizes.

Ward and other CSX executives held a conference call with investors Wednesday — one day after reporting first-quarter profit of $459 million, or 45 cents per share. That beat Wall Street's expectations and topped last year's $449 million profit, or 43 cents per share.

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