CSX Corporation (CSX): Analysts Giving Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Here’s how investors should make decisions about buying, holding or selling CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) stock. On Thursday, shares of CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) closed lower after an active session. The shares dropped -0.78 points or -1.1 percent at $69.82 with a heavy trade volume of 9.009 million shares. After opening the session at $69.32, the shares went as high as $69.83 and as low as $68.23, the range within which the stock’s price traded throughout the day. The firm is left with a market cap of $59.4 billion and now has 850 million shares outstanding. CSX Corporation (CSX) stock has gained 1.06 percent of market value in 21 trading days.

CSX stock has a trailing 3-year beta of 1.26, offering the possibility of a higher rate of return, but also posing more risk. The portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock was $3.55 a share in the trailing twelve months. The stock’s value has surged 26.92 percent year to date (YTD) against a rise of 25.15 percent in 12 month’s time. The company’s shares still trade -8.42 percent away from its 1-year high of $76.24 and 44.17 percent up from 52-week low of $48.43. The average consensus rating on the company is 2.2, on a scale where 5 equates to a unanimous sell rating. In short, the mean analyst recommendations are calling this stock a sell.

CSX Corporation (CSX) will probably climb 16.83 percent over the next 12 months, according to price target estimates compiled by finviz. Meanwhile, they have set a $90-month high price target. This represents a whopping 28.9 percent increase from where shares are trading today. The 12-month median price target assigned by the analysts stands at $84, which represents a return potential of 20.31 percent when compared to the closing price of the stock of $69.82 on Thursday, December 06. The lowest price target for the stock is $55 — slightly more than -21.23 percent from CSX’s current share price.

History has shown that shares in CSX Corporation have gone down on 19 different earnings reaction days and are predicted to add 0.02 percent when the company reports upcoming earnings. Investors will get their next glimpse of CSX’s Q4 earnings on January 15. Analysts are forecasting revenue to climb 9.7 percent to $3.14B in the fiscal fourth quarter, while earnings are seen soaring by nearly 56.25 percent to $1 per share. It earned $1.05 per share, better than the $0.95, adjusted, expected by Thomson Reuters consensus estimate. Revenue was $3.13B, better than the $3.06B analysts expected. Earnings are estimated to increase by 18.9 percent this year, 10.75 percent next year and continue to increase by 22.7 percent annually for the next 5 years.

Let’s take a look at some insider activity at CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) and see the pattern. The earliest insider trade took place on 05/02/2018. Foote James M gathered a total of 5 thousand shares of company at average share price of $59.91. The total for the purchase was set at $299.55 thousand. After this transaction, the President & CEO account balance stood at 5.4 thousand shares. The stock grew 16.54 percent since that insider purchase. On 07/21/2017, Mantle Ridge Lp, Director, purchased 1.36 million shares at a price per share of $51.59. This added 70.01 million shares to the insider’s fortune and the stock saw a 35.34 percent rally in value since the news became public. This transaction left 42.76 million shares in the Director account.

On 04/24/2017, CEO & President Harrison E Hunter performed a purchase transaction worth $15.06 million. This purchase at $50.2 each has added 300 thousand shares into the insider’s portfolio position. Meanwhile, shares have recorded 39.08 percent increase since the transaction was reported. The insider now is left with 300 thousand shares remaining in the account. Mantle Ridge Lp, who performs the Director job, sold 1.73 million shares for $84 million. The disposal occurred on 03/07/2017 was priced at $48.57 per share. The share price soared 43.75 percent since the reporting date. Mantle Ridge Lp now left with a stake of 41.41 million CSX stock worth $2890.93 million after the insider selling.

The stock is currently hovering around the first support level of $68.76. Below this, the next support is placed in the zone of $67.69. Till the time, the CSX stock trades above this level, bulls have nothing to fear. On momentum oscillators front, ‘RSI’ has touched 44.47 on daily chart, which may remain a cause for concern. If the price breaks below $67.69 level on closing basis, then we may see more profit booking and the stock may show further weakness. On the flipside, hitting the $70.36 mark may result into a pull-back move towards $70.89 level.

Shares of CSX Corporation (CSX) are trading at a P/E ratio of 27.34 times earnings reported for the past 12 months. The industry CSX operates in has an average P/E of 23.65. Its P/E ratio went as low as 10.85X and as high as 19.88 over the 5-year span.Further, it is sporting a 4.96 on the Price-to-Sales ratio. Compare this with the industry average P/S of 2.22. 71.2 percent is the gross profit margin for CSX Corporation and operating margin sits at 39.6 percent. Along with this, the net profit margin is 55.2 percent.