The Railroad Week in Review:
Fourth Quarter 2002


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  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.
  • Week 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.

 

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