Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2002
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ending December 13, 2002
CSX this week concluded its 14th consecutive annual shortline gathering,the
longest running show in the business. RailAmerica increased November
carloads system-wide 20% for November and 17% YTD. Not surprisingly
US and Canadian loadings accounted for four-fifths of the total for
both periods. CSX's John Snow tapped to head up Treasury. CN's Tellier
to Bombardier as CEO; Harrison takes over and Pres and CEO, retains
COO responsibilities. FRA chief Allan Rutter says money's available
and and that the $3.5 bn in funds are to be unlocked.
ending December 6, 2002
Feedback on CP's Rob Ricthie's challenge to the Transport ministers,
on the RRIF program, and on the merchandise carload conundrum facing
class 1s and shortlines. UP hosts financial analysts in Omaha. CSX fixes
browser barriers on website. How different ways of measuing fuel consumption
produce different results and why some measures can be misleading.
ending November 29, 2002 -- Week in Review Extra
As you know, WIR comes out 50 weeks a year -- Thanksgiving and Christmas
are the exceptions. This EXTRA touches on the vital importance of the
RRIF program to shortlines with limited resources and the financial
requirements of the application process.
ending November 22, 2002
UP increases quarterly dividend 15% to 23 cents, the yield to 1.59%,
and the annualized payout to 20% of estimated eps. BNSF and NS to start
double-your-money back carload service guarantee. Parsing Providence
& Worcester's 3Q earnings report. Rail revenue impacts of possible
6% automotive production fall-off in 2003. CP's Ritchie lambastes provincial
transport ministers for playing favorites. Liquidity considerations
in stock trading.
ending November 15, 2002
The RailAmerica (RRA) Third Quarter 10-Q is the best yet in terms of
quality and quantity of information. Note particularly carload counts
and revenue by commodity. Genesee & Wyoming closes its Oregon deal
with BNSF. And CSX launches a new website -- clean and intuitive but
with some tech barriers.
ending November 8, 2002
We finsh up Earnings Week with results from GWR, FEC, KCS. Why transparancy
in financial reporting is important. Trinity trims losses and wins big
order. Pete Kleifgen to head RMI. Rail stocks hold their own following
UN Iraq resolution.
ending November 1, 2002
Four days on the road with BNSF was both entertaining and enlightening.
Details and observations from the shortline and transload conferences
herewith. I expect copies of the key carload slide presentations directly
so we can drill down to some of the specifics later. As promised, we
have 3Q results for CN and CP -- one hot, the other not so. RailAmerica's
acquisition and divestiture program is beginning to pay off.
ending October 25, 2002
Intermodal drives BNSF results but lurking behind that is a very encouraging
carload story. Union Pacific reports strong results even without the
below-the-line gains. NS boosts carload revenues $55 mm mostly on volume.
CSX posts 27% eps gain though hampered by Amtrak speed restrictions,
flat revenues. Overall, the common thread is better service brings better
revenue. Car and train performance are becoming the standard measures.
Chart comparing 3Q02 performance of these four.
ending October 18, 2002
This week's Eastern Region ASLRRA meeting gets rave reviews. Shortline
responses to our carload volume survey: shortlines up 7.1% to class
1's 1.1%. Comment on the results and forward implications. Some on the
Street agree carload revenue is "better" than intermodal reveue.
STB undoes shortline sale to A&K affiliate.
ending October 11, 2002
BNSF held its annual Investors Conference in LA on Tuesday and broadcast
it via the web. Positive implications for the company in general (see
ABC costing) and the carload biz in particular. Shortlines who follow
the argument will benefit. There will be a quiz. GAAP supporters win
another round as the National Investor Relations Instute makes some
recommendations for where to put pro forma financial statements.
ending October 4, 2002
The West Coast Port situation may have some limited effect on rail intermodal
near term. Effects on manufacturing may be felt in the carload business
if it goes on much longer. BNSF reduces 3Q02 guidance. Shortlines queried
for AAR carload data equivalents. Does a high proportion of carload
to intermodal traffic translate into higher stock prices? Burkhardt
group gets OK on BAR and related transaction. Shortlines team up on
line haul business with NS as feeder line.