Revenue for the quarter rose to almost $3 billion, up 6% from the comparable quarter in 2011, and also beating expectations of $2.92 billion.
CSX said increased merchandise and intermodal shipments more than offset weakness in the coal segment, and noted expenses declined. Intermodal showed robust strength, up 9% in the first quarter. Automobile-related moves did even better, up 18%.
"Although utility coal-related headwinds are likely to be stronger in the second quarter, CSX remains on track to achieve year-over-year earnings growth in 2012," CSX President and CEO Michael Ward said.
Shares of CSX began the trading day Wednesday hoving close to the Tuesday close of $22.44.