Railroad Week in Review:
Third Quarter 2014
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Week ending September 26
NS Investors Day presentations, business car trip and Bellevue Yard tour emphasize the NS commitment to the future of the singe-carload merchandise business. Why Bellevue and why it works. Why RailTrends 2014 will again be another winner.
Week ending September 19
Using the stock market to predict carload traffic levels. Coals to Newcastle redux. FEC extend intermodal service to Charlotte; why carload shippers should care. NS Investors Day in Cleveland Tuesday includes tour of Bellevue Yard expansion.
Week Ending September 12
GWR Aug carloads up 13% all in, same-store ex-RCP&E 9%. CSX and NS export coal trends. Housing starts and lumber carloads by Class I. CSX vols up, service not where it needs to be. Getting the church built for Easter.
Week ending September 5
Reading & Northern wins $10 mm Penn DOT grant toward the construction of a much-needed new connection along the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. The late get later: AAR average speeds and dwell times get generally worse week-over-week and year-over-year. STB deems five Class Is "revenue adequate;" why handling-fee short lines should pay attention.
Week ending August 29
Union Pacific shortline gathering another winner; giving short lines conference rooms at UP HQ to interview UP staffers is brilliant. Chart of UP commodity volume trends. A former Class I ops guy comments on volumes, momentum and customer satisfaction. Coal-to-gas switching: where it's happening and what shapes the long-term outlook.
Week ending August 22
Congestion, AAR Performance Measures, how short lines can help relieve congestion. Freight car builder update. Weyerhaeuser as a window on housing starts. Splitting AAR Petroleum Products data into STCC 29 nat-gas liquids, etc. and STCC 13 crude oil.
Week ending August 15
Providence & Worcester 2Q total revs up 9%, OR 90.0, down three points. Carload vols up 5%, intermodal vols up 30% on "changes in trucking regulations." GWR July carloads up 10%, same store 6% excluding RCP&E. Morgan-Stanley's Bill Greene calls Union Pacific "The New King of the Hill." ASLRRA taps Linda Bauer Darr to succeed Rich Timmons as President. Book Review: The Twilight of Steam.
Week ending August 8
GWR brings in remarkable safety record of 0.5 PIs per 200,000 hours worked. Corporate pro-forma Q2 income up 11%. NA revs up 5% on 8% more loads; NA ops ratio 74.5. RCP&E adds $5 mm new revs right out of the box. BNSF sales up 8% on 5% more units; OR 70.7, essentially unchanged.
Week ending August 1
Class Is wrap up 2Q earnings calls. Common theme: double-digit ops income gains, merch carloads up mid-single-digits, sub-70 ORs. CN shows how to run a low-cost railroad and build the business base around customer supply-chain efficiency. NS increases revenues and yields more on volume than on pricing; asset productivity is the key. UP total revenue increases ten percent to $6.0 billion on eight percent more revenue units and a mere 1.5 percent RPU gain.BNSF reports this weekend in the Berkshire filing; Week 26 carloads provide a proxy for what the quarter holds. Total revenue units increased five percent to 2.6 million; industrial products carloads were up four percent and ag products grew 11 percent for a merch carload gain of six percent. GWR reported Friday. North American carloads 451,493, up 8%, freight sales $252 million, up 5%. NA operating income $85 million, up 3%, operating ratio 74.5, down 39 basis points. Details on GWR and BNSF here Aug 8.
[No Week in Review July 25]
Week ending July 18
FEC opens new Fort Lauderdale intermodal terminal. Lower crop prices may force lower fertilizer prices. CSX second quarter results show marked merch carload improvement. CP ops income jumps 40% on more aggressive pricing, improved ops and continued cost control. KCS sees double-digit merch carload volume increases.
Week ending July 11
CSX highlights shortline and regional railroad carloads for the first 21 weeks of the year: coal, chems, ag products, forest products and metals make up a well-balanced 82 percent of the total. Table. Reading & Northern maintenance profile. Sectors, spiders and railroads; consumer discretionary items making a come-back.
Week ending July 3
Put/call ratios, railroad share prices and carload outlook. Second quarter volume preview. Gartman on bull and bear markets. Lancaster & Chester lands a big one.