Railroad Week in Review:
First Quarter 2007
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in Review, 1/5/2007
part of making better operating decisions today is knowing what to expect
tomorrow -- tidbits on a few things you may see in 2007. Baird's Jon
Langenfeld sees "a tough near-term trading environment for transportation
stocks." Bear Stearns' Ed Wolfe likes what he sees at JBHT; implications
news for DME from Minnesota's 8th Circuit Court. US rail traffic hits
1.7 trillion ton-miles through Week 51 making 2006 the ninth record
year in a row. Gilbertson named president of Minnesota Regional Rail
Assn. IAIS acquires Lincoln & Southern.
in Review, 1/12/2007
How rail sector stocks have entered another lull similar to what we
saw last May. Why back-testing is a very useful tool to find trends
and returns over time. Yet another indication that forest products companies
are not yet out of the woods. Lessons from Greenbriers first quarter
conference call. One shortliner's view of the railroads' image problem.
Why good stock pickers make good shortline buyers.Parting
shot: It's time to get rid of shortline car hire relief.
in Review, 1/19/2007
UP moved nearly 900 more trains out of the PRB in 2006 vs 2005; could
be worth $7 mm in new shortline revenue. Small but encouraging response
to my car hire challenge; more to come next week. Don Phillips writes
on new strides in freight train safety; I see shortline implications
and opportunities. The latest from Wabtec and American Rail Car. Growth
estimates for 2007. A reader comments on education and economic benefits
of short haul rail moves.
in Review, 1/26/2007
Five of six class Is have checked in. The theme is solid revenue increases
on slight revenue unit changes and serious cost control. See write-ups
on each railroad. Table. Note especially opportunities and caveats for
Feature: Trade of the Week.
in Review, 2/2/2007
STB fuel surcharge decision less than meets the eye -- EP 661 excerpts,
comments, short line impact. Tony Hatch on Earnings Week and other observations.
Car builder notes from GBX, TRN.
in Review, 2/9/2007
KCS wrapped up the Class I roads earnings season with one of the
most powerful and engaging presentations of the lot. The importance
of emphasizing carload contribution over revenue. CSX introduces its
web-based ISA Measurement Tool for short lines. Strike talks continue
between CN and the Canadian UTU. Quarterly results for RAIL.
in Review, 2/16/2007
Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE: GWR) Q4 net income up 34% yoy and up 168%
for the year. Continuing the ISA measurement thread. Watco sells Coulee
City-Cheney line to Washington DOT. RailAmerica disappears from the
stock tables as Fortress deal closes. What do Home Depot, Fortress and
shortlines have in common? Car-builder comments. Further developments
in my revenue vs. contribution thread.
in Review, 2/23/2007
CSX presented its 18th Annual Short Line Conference in Jax this week;
many excellent take-ways. FEC fourth quarter and year-end earnings call.
Bear Sterns Ed Wolfe hosts sessions with CP Pres. & CEO Fred Green
and Asst VP of IR, Janet Weiss. JPM's Tom Wadewitz on the CN strike
impact. Car builder tidbits.
in Review, 3/2/2007
Why rail stocks are priced right right now. DME loses loan bid. FRA
proposes changing HOS rules. Recent Class I and shortline carload traffic
summaries. CSX shortline presentations at csx.com -- get 'em while they're
in Review, 3/9/2007
Why funding acquisitions trumps funding start-ups. John Giles to head
RailAmerica. Details and shortline implications of YTD traffic downturn.
Bear Stearns on Class I rail investment opportunities. Fortune names
UP "most admired RR" for second consecutive year. CSX and
UP remain on Top Ten Value Companies list at The Street.com. New diesel
loco emissions regs could be harmful to the health of shortlines.
in Review, 3/16/2007
KCS held a well-attended and very informative meeting for analysts and
investors at its Kansas City headquarters Mar 13-14.CSX shares spiked
Friday ostensibly on rumors that some hedge fund may have Fortress-eyes
for the railroad. The surcharge dust seems to be settling down; tools
for short lines to maximize participation. NS discontinues some fuel
surcharges. Carload summary through Week 9.
in Review, 3/23/2007
How the Eyeris cost-management system used by KCS can be applied
to shortlines. P&W to re-state financials. How rail stock prices
relate to analysts' perceptions. Californias Richmond Pacific
has stepped up to the emissions plate with its recent low-emissions
locomotive project. NS super-sizes McDonalds potato distribution to
DC Metro area. a 1923 lesson in labor relations.
in Review, 3/30/2007
A pair of
cautionary notes from the ASLRRA re upcoming legislation critical to
shortlines. Why new money in the form of private equity firms is stalking
short line railroads. Norfolk Southern to expand and accelerate its
share-buyback program; Wall Street approves. Shares of farming supply
companies higher on ethanol boom; mixed blessings for shortlines.Short
line carloads through Week 11 (3/17/2007) were off 9% yoy; Class I loads
also drift south. FRA okays RRIF loans for Corman, DM&E. FEC, Corman
win Railway Age awards. RMI RailConnect shortline carload summary.