Railroad Week in Review:
Third Quarter 2006
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in Review, 7/7/2006
industry implications of this week's stock market downturn. How shortlines
can profit. Two reasons why "same store" sales may be misleading.
Leadership shifts among the Class Is. CSX earnings preview. Observations
on a proposed ethanol plant on DME.
in Review, 7/14/2006
units for Week 27 and YTD. RailConnect Shortline revenue units for Week
26 and YTD. Ditto for RRA in June. Some observations on Class I pricing
power and how it can hurt not only shortlines but themselves as well.
To get even event reporting from shortlines some Class Is need to set
a better example. Another threat to re-regulate by repealing anti-trust
exemptions. More on ethanol. GWR General Counsel decamps for a hedge
in Review, 7/21/2006
a home run; why managing for maximum yield benefits shareholders, shippers
and shortlines. Union Pacific sets records in revenues, operating income,
operating ratio as the Unified Plan and shifts in leadership take hold.
Canadian National perpetuates the theme of precision railroading producing
powerful financial returns.John Gallagher reports on a shortline survey
in Traffic World and I rebut. GWR June revenue units up on AUS results;
sorting out NA from the consolidated figures may get interesting. TRN
to exit European ops and not a moment too soon IMHO.
in Review, 7/28/2006
once again shows how shareholder value increases with the power and
leverage attained in higher revenues, reining in ops expense and buying
back shares. CP increased quarterly sales to $C1.1 bn yoy, up 2.3%;
absent the effects of volume, mix and foreign exchange they would have
been up 8%.
in Review, 8/4/2006
income for 2Q06 increased 2.0% to $16.3 mm, compared with $16.0 mm in
the second quarter of 2005. The operating ratio after ARG transaction-related
expenses was 82.3. Same store NA revenue units dropped 6%, however SS
sales went up 5% and RPU up 6%. Why allowance-based shortlines may be
in for a tough time in this environment. The common thread through all
the Q2 earnings calls. Thoughts on why rail stocks continued to trade
down even as the results are pretty good for a slowing economy. Thenel
and Heilig promoted at NS.
in Review, 8/11/2006
FEC report improved 2Q results. STB tackles fuel surcharges. Shortline
tidbits. Company-specific and general Wall Street comment on 2Q06 earnings
reports and trends.
in Review, 8/18/2006
UP's Jim Young featured in Smart Money interview; sees velocity and
value key to improved results. P&W reports Q2 sales and earnings.
Some caveats. Bear Stearns on "positioning the transports for a
slower economy." JP Morgan summarizes Week 32 rail traffic. Notes
from the ASLRRA/ACE ethanol conference. Larry Kaufman continues the
rail stock price thread. Minnesotans support DM&E rail project by
a margin of seven to one.
in Review, 8/25/2006
Why these may be tough times for shortliners; some thoughts on a way
to build the revenue base. Auto sales as an economic indicator. GWR,
RRA July car counts. Mayo Clinic disapproves of DME survey results,
does its own.
JPM's Tom Wadewitz weighs in. John Cockle's review of the ethanol conference.
Technical indicators that rail stocks may finally have hit bottom.
in Review, 9/1/2006
It's beginning to look like rail stocks have hit their lows as all the
Class Is plus RRA and GWR were up even as the DJIA was down a crumb.
Excerpts from a USB economic report. Comments and a values table relating
to how I make buy and sell decisions using a combination of company
fundamentals and technical indicators.What
Amtrak Monthly Performance reports and AAR Train Speed have in common.
Amtrak gets a new prez. GWR gets two more shortlines.AAR and shortline
carloads for Week 31.
in Review, 9/8/2006
NS finalizes $95 mm funding agreement for the Heartland Corridor rail
double-stack clearance project. You want Mayo on that? Further twists
on DME project. Week 33 shortline carloads; class I comps and themes.
The rails cyclical headwinds continue to blow. Coal gets little
or no respect from Wall Street. Posner et al bring steam back to the
in Review, 9/15/2006
Why the carload business is more likely than intermodal to survive a
consumer downturn. Two commodity groups drag down the whole in the RMI
shortline car count for Week 34. Common themes between GWR and RRA August
2006 carload counts. Three key points about NS trends and outlook in
Q&A excerpts from the Q2 earnings call. Larry Kaufman on why railroads
need to get the word out to a broader audience.
in Review, 9/22/2006
Excerpts from Charles Marshall's remarks before the Transportation Clubs
International gathering: what's wrong with the single-car merchandise
model; market share opportunities; data management; some suggestions.
from my recent visit to a 343-mile regional railroad that is the
manifestation of a number of Best Practices.
in Review, 9/29/2006
How to spot the difference between a broken stock and a broken company.
Observations made while riding on the Annual UP Shortline Special from
Denver to Omaha. Jack Koraleski's letter to customers provides pointers
on site selection. CSX "2005 Corporate Profile" now available;
merch carload outlook by commodity very helpful. Why FEC is the next
railroad on my buy list.