CSX tumbles the most since the financial crisis after its CEO blames a 'puzzling' economic backdrop for weak earnings
- Train operator CSX reported disappointing second-quarter earnings on Wednesday that sent shares sliding by as much as much as 12%.
- The loss - which was also driven by the company's lowered full-year 2019 sales forecast - marked CSX's biggest since the financial crisis
- The company criticized President Trump's trade war, which has resulted in tariffs on hundred of billions of dollars in imported goods.
- James Foote, the president and chief executive officer, said the current economic landscape is "one of the most puzzling" he's seen in his career during a call with analysts.
- Watch CSX trade live.
President Trump's trade war is continuing to fill corporate executives with uncertainty.
CSX, a major railroad operator, dropped its profit forecast after reporting its second quarter financial results on Wednesday sending shares sliding by as much as 12%.
James Foote, the President and Chief Executive Officer told analysts on the earnings call that the economic backdrop is "one of the most puzzling" he's seen in his entire career.
"Both global and US economic conditions have been unusual this year, to say the least, and have impacted our volumes," Foote said on the company's earning call on Wednesday. "You see it every week in our reported carloads."
Just two weeks after China and the US agreed to return to the table for trade talks, President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese products.
Foote cited the impact of natural gas prices on domestic and international coal, and the extended slowdown in volume from industrial customers as the main drivers for falling revenue.
Overall revenue fell by 1% to $3.1 billion as any gains were offset by a drop in coal and intermodal revenue. CSX said it expects its revenue to decline between 1% and 2% for the year, after initially project a slight increase in the first quarter.
"We are not necessarily being pessimistic about the second half of the year, but in as much as we need to adjust guidance, we're just setting out the obvious," Foote said.
CSX is still up 16% year-to-date.
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