CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $61.00 price objective on the transportation company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.65% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of CSX Corporation have performed very well over the last one year, outperforming the Zacks-categorized Transportation-Rail industry. The company has outperformed fellow railroad operator Union Pacific Corporation that saw its shares gaining 18.7% in the last one year.  CSX Corporation is benefiting from an improvement in the coal-related scenario, which has been aiding overall volume growth. The company's efforts to control costs are also impressive.  CSX Corporation's move to hike its quarterly dividend payout as well as approving a new buyback plan also raise optimism. CSX aims to report operating ratio in the mid-60s by the end of 2017.  We expect the company to perform well in the second quarter. Detailed results should be out on Jul 18. The company's high debt levels, however, raise concerns. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of CSX Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of CSX Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of CSX Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target (up from $56.00) on shares of CSX Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of CSX Corporation from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nineteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. CSX Corporation presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.39.

Shares of CSX Corporation (CSX) traded down 1.35% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.15. 4,556,170 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $49.96 billion, a PE ratio of 29.56 and a beta of 1.32. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $52.87 and a 200 day moving average of $47.32. CSX Corporation has a 52 week low of $26.07 and a 52 week high of $55.31. CSX Corporation also was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Monday. Stock traders purchased 42,807 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 786% compared to the average daily volume of 4,834 call options.

CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 19th. The transportation company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.08. CSX Corporation had a net margin of 15.19% and a return on equity of 15.67%. The firm had revenue of $2.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.76 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. CSX Corporation’s revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that CSX Corporation will post $2.29 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 31st will be given a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.48%. CSX Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.72%.

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In related news, CEO E Hunter Harrison acquired 300,000 shares of CSX Corporation stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 24th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $50.20 per share, for a total transaction of $15,060,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 300,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,060,000. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 4.79% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CSX. Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of CSX Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $9,357,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in shares of CSX Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $375,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of CSX Corporation by 0.8% in the first quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 221,002 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $10,288,000 after buying an additional 1,660 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. boosted its position in shares of CSX Corporation by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 9,519 shares of the transportation company’s stock worth $342,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chicago Equity Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of CSX Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $4,923,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.30% of the company’s stock.

About CSX Corporation

CSX Corporation is a transportation company. The Company provides rail-based freight transportation services, including traditional rail service and transport of intermodal containers and trailers, as well as other transportation services, such as rail-to-truck transfers and bulk commodity operations.

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