Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX, the first of the big railroads to report quarterly results, earned $463 million or 46 cents a share, up from $455 million or 44 cents a share, last year.

Revenue came in at $3 billion.

Analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, were expecting earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $2.95 billion.

Investors keep an eye on U.S. rail traffic because it is considered an indicator of economic and manufacturing health due to the amount and diverse nature of goods that trains carry.

The company, which serves the U.S. East Coast, also said it expects earnings to be slightly more in 2013 than they were last year, when it earned $1.76 a share.

For the quarter ended Sept. 27, the company moved more chemicals, automotive parts and other merchandise, helping offset a 5 percent drop in coal volumes. Intermodal volumes rose 6 percent, while merchandise volumes rose 5 percent. (Reuters)