The Railroad Week in Review:
Second Quarter 2004


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  • Week Ending 4/2/2004
    CP's Fred Green says they ought to have a final answer on the D&H in two months. Wall Street upgrades NS, BNSF; downgrades CSX, UP. (Go out on the RRs and see why.) RailAmerica finalizes Aussie sale, doubles its money. Reader wowed by Watco website. Progressive Rail gets good reviews for accouting standards. Everett Railroad celebrates 50 years of operation.
  • Week Ending 4/9/2004
    Gary Marino retires from RailAmerica. Gus Pagonis hosts conference call. UP turning away freight shipments. Jobs impact? Rail stocks more attractive as traffic growth prospects improve. What high soy bean prices and demand for covered hoppers might do to growers and users both. Watco may exit Palouse River line in Washington state. Fourth quarter and full year comps for KCS, FEC, GWR, RRA. TFM and KCS step back from arbitration.
  • Week Ending 4/16/2004
    Five shortlines and regional rails win marketing awards. Continuing the contribution theme. Book on Warren Buffett has much meat for railroad managers, for instance putting capital costs where they belong. Comparative shareholder returns for eight railroads. Tables. How shortlines that don't get it hurt those that do.
  • Week Ending 4/23/2004
    This week's REVIEW is five pages instead of the usual two. Exceptional quarterly results from CN and NS. Monthly and yoy carload data for GWR and RRA. Continuing the theme of shareholder returns as a measure of management's success in representing the owners' economic interest in the success of the enterprise.
  • Week Ending 4/30/2004
    Quarterly earnings from BNSF, CP, CSX, KCS, RRA and UP. Expanded table of comparisons. Common thread is price increasing holding on greater demand for rail services as trucking costs and highway congestion are on the rise. UP operating income down 15% to $314 mm on congestion costs even as revenue rose 6% yoy.
  • Week Ending 5/7/2004
    Quartery earnings from Florida East Coast, Genesee & Wyoming. Conrail Oversight ends.Canadian National shortline meeting zeros in on operating best practices.
  • Week Ending 5/14/2004
    Coal company stocks up at twice the TTM rate of the DJIA. Buckingham Branch shortline to operate former C&O Doswell line. Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) lottery. A ride across Pennsylvania on Amtrak shows NS at its best. P&W's first quarter disappoints. GWR and RRA carlaodings for April.
  • Week Ending 5/21/2004
    Synopsis of two key Watco strategy and finance sessions at Twin Falls, Idaho. FRA says remote control locomotives in train and yard service safer than manned units. Senate passes 4.3 cent a gallon fuel tax elimination. House stalls. Prospects for coal improve. AAR Week 19 (May 20) carloads compared with GWR's Q1 record. Chart.
  • Week Ending 5/28/2004
    RailAmerica gets the ex-PRR main from Crestline west almost to Chicago via Fort Wayne and Vaplo. Iowa Interstate derails on CSX -- harmonic rock suspected. BNSF taps new managers. WSJ says coal prospects up, Midwestern corn and beans down. UP's Jack Joraleski takes the Tylenol tack. Wednesday a great day for rail stocks.
  • Week Ending 6/4/2004
    Rail stocks outperform DJIA for the week, YTD and three years; GWR, NSC and BNI lead the industry in all three periods. More on harmonic rock. Calls from investment bankers, stock brokers, and institutional investors who, for a variety of reasons, have suddenly become interested in railroads in general and shortlines in particular. The need for a marketable shortline "brand" and how to create one.
  • Week Ending 6/11/2004
    NS is running better than ever before and there is capacity to spare. Shortlines that can build on this opportunity will be the soonest winners. Table of estimated NS shortline revenues by commodity. The antithesis is UP where the high costs of congestion are hurting even the best shortlines. And why is UP paying north of a buck a gallon when NS and BNSF are hedged a six months out at 80 cents?
  • Week Ending 6/18/2004
    RRA taps Redfearn President, Swinburn CEO. May carloadings for RRA, GWR. AAR comps. STB Chairman polls Class I CEOs for appraisal of fall rush readiness. STB Performance Measures, US rails' stock performance, and 1Q04 results show striking parallels. Table. Norfolk Southern makes "Zack's #1 Rated Stock List." Railpower Technologies Green Goat road switcher shows promise.
  • Week Ending 6/25/2004
    Transport stocks have a field day. Union Pacific charts' technical signs pointed to a reversal of trends. Is this a $70 stock in 18 months? GBX has in the last seven weeks received orders for nearly 7,000 railcars valued at approximately $400 mm. Shortline car ownership up? Or are lessors using marks of convenience. The 2-mile shortline with 30,000 cars bearing its marks. NITL's Ficker says, "Shippers are like water running downhill: they seek the course of least resistance." Why Unique Selling Points and Competitive Advantage still count.

 

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