Railroad Week in Review:
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in Review, 10/5/2007
J is such a great fit for CN. CORP embargoes Coos Bay Line; the
politicos as usual get it wrong. Wall Street begins to take notice of
2125; excerpts from UP CEO Jim Young's "Fall Peak" STB letter
re implication of 2125 et al. EP 646, the Small Rate Case
Decision, revisited as to short line perils.
in Review, 10/12/2007
Why revenues are up even though revenue unit counts are down. Short
lines reporting through RMI RailConnect show mix of low-rated commodities
increasing as Class Is move in the opposite direction. Some thoughts
on what's to be done.
Why CURE offers
no cure: a fable. NS cuts earnings estimate 5 cents on below-the-line
items, core railroad unaffected; ECP-equipped coal train begins operations
in Penna. Week 39 revenue unit count shows short lines still off more
than Class Is. KCS makes top quintile in Fortune's 100 fastest-growing
companies list, personnel changes.
in Review, 10/19/2007
Earnings season kicks off with strong results from CSX and Union Pacific.
The Children's Investment Fund, holder of a 5% interest in CSX, challenges
CSX management to change its ways and gives specifics. BNSF's 12th annual
shortline meeting -- "working closer, moving forward" -- lives
up to its theme.
in review, 10/26/2007
GWR offers to buy controlling interest in Maryland Midland. CN ops income
drops 9%; revenue units drop but GTMs remain unchanged. BNSF reports
record quarterly revenue and quarterly ops income, up 17% absent one
time enviro charge. NS disappoints on revenues, car counts and ops income.
House RR Safety Bill passes.
in Review, 11/2/2007
Earnings week concludes with CP and GWR. KCS summary from last week.
Table comparing Class I results of particular interest to short line
operators and shippers. Brian Holtz' rebuttal to my bigger-car theory.
in Review, 11/9/2007
Short lines have a lot to gain from a close review of CP's "Investor
Day" proceedings; out-takes herewith. Table of short line commodities
on CP. Comments on and implications of the STB's proposed rulings on
paper barriers. NECR re-opens a bigger, taller, wider Bellows Falls
Tunnel. Brenda Taylor decamping from the NS short Line Group to join
the ag marketing team.
in Review, 11/16/2007
UBS Rail Analyst Rick Paterson picks up the capex theme in his November
8 note. The folks at Bear Stearns have been out talking to customers
again. On the carload side of the Bear Stearns household, equipment
analyst Peter Nesvold may have discovered an opportunity for short lines
to pick up cars cheap.
- No Week in
Review, 11/23/2007 -- Thanksgiving Week
in Review, 11/30/2007
knocks the cover off the ball with a super Business Update presentation.
Getting a handle on how foreign exchange affects short line revenues
(it doesn't). P&W net drops 90% yoy. Coal, ag and copper notes.
American Eagle and paper barriers.
in Review, 12/7/2007
Tom Murray's RR stock Watch shows why it's important to watch RR stock
prices for what they can tell you about the RR itself. Bear Stearns
4Q update. Jason Seidl's GWR report. More P&W from Chop Hardenbergh.
Larry Kaufman on branch line sales. IANR opens Manly yard.
in Review, 12/14/2007
The STB shot down the Michigan joint venture between NS and Watco citing
what it saw as too much control remaining with NS. I've since spoken
with a number of interested observers including NS, Watco and Wall Street
types and the consensus is there is yet a second shoe to drop. Here
too begins the "Follow the Money" series for short lines.
in Review, 12/21/2007
Union Pacific stock drifted downgrade to the tune of nearly ten smackers
Wed AM as the company guided the low-end Q4 earnings estimate down.
CSX may be facing an uphill fight for Board Seats. RailAmerica is looking
to close the ex-SP Siskiyou Subdivision on the CORP. The Michigan Central
decision drew some excellent reader feedback. For a short lesson on
how to kill railroad investment, one need look no further than upstate
NY. [This concludes the 2007 series.]