Kansas City Southern
There’s a sector that’s been booming in recent months, and almost nobody seems to have noticed. That sector is—surprise—railroads. The bluest of blue chips have seen surging share prices, revenues, and earnings per share lately. The boom seems to be across the board, not just in a few big players.
A little railroad that could
The surge in share prices for rail operators has been phenomenal more »
Editor's Note: The original version incorrectly identifies the stock symbol of Bed Bath & Beyond. This version has been corrected and Motley Fool apologizes for the error.
On Monday we saw a handful of companies trade lower after analyst downgrades. Let's see whether any of them are truly worth selling.
M&A Chatter Pushes This Railroad Too High
Stifel Nicolaus made a bold call on Monday, downgrading Kansas City more »
Investors often have a set of metrics that they use to analyze and value each company they investigate. Each of these metrics can be useful, but it is dangerous to apply one set of analytical tools to all companies. Instead, investors should customize the set of metrics used to evaluate potential investments on a company-by-company basis.
For instance, investors who are interested in investing in a bank are not going more »
The “Oracle of Omaha” is being examined again. But too much of the coverage implies that there's some magic formula out there that can make you a billionaire like Buffett. It's the “magic bullet” theory of investing, and I speak the truth when I say that it won't work for you.
Look, Warren Buffett appears to be a nice man. He seems a bit fond of having more »
Change is uncomfortable. America is entering into a new stage. It is not the supreme world power that it was in the 1990s. Relative to the world economy, America's economy is getting smaller. Even with these changes, it is important to remember that many American companies are huge multinationals that benefit from growth inside and outside the United States.
Is America Growing?
Just because more »
Railways have historically been popular investment vehicles. Transportation is an important aspect of domestic and global commerce, so much so that Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway purchased one of the largest rail companies a few years ago. Here are three other railroad companies to look at for your portfolio.
First-quarter results for CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) and Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) show these railroads were able to grow earnings despite little or no growth in carloads in the first quarter.
Union Pacific’s first-quarter business volumes, as measured by total revenue carloads, decreased 2% compared to 2012. Volume declines in coal and agricultural products more than offset growth in chemicals, intermodal and automotive shipments.
Union Pacific raised prices more »
Mexico is recently being seen as a land of opportunities. There have been plenty of reasons for that. A newly-elected president, close proximity of Mexico to the US, and high exposure of Mexico to the US economy are top-of-the-list factors in this respect. This has led equity managers to shortlist some super single-stock opportunities to make money in the long run, and individual investors should as well.
- Recently elected more »
Railroads will report mixed results for first-quarter earnings. The railroads' energy shipments were up over 50% in the first quarter, but shipments of coal, grain and metallic ores were down. Total traffic through the first 13 weeks of the year climbed a modest 0.7%, according to the Association of American Railroads.
Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) will be the first to report earnings on Friday.
A review of traffic more »
Mexico is recently being seen as a land of opportunities. There have been plenty of reasons for that. Newly elected iron-fisted President, close proximity of Mexico to the US and high exposure of Mexico to the US economy are top-of-the-list factors in this respect. This has provided equity managers to shortlist some super single-stock opportunities to make money in the long run.
- The recently elected President, Enrique Pena Nieto more »
Most men who have really lived have had, in some share, their great adventure. This railway is mine. - James J. Hill (1838-1916) (Railroad Executive-Great Northern Railway builder)
James J. Hill was a railroad tycoon whose railroads spanned from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest, from Canada to the South, and eventually across the Pacific to the Orient. His life's work certainly was a railroad adventure. Today, an investing more »
Bringing oil out of the Bakken shale oil play limits its availability to US and Canadian refineries. Simply stated, oil production boomed too fast for existing pipelines to handle. To ship oil out of the Midwest and to coastal refineries, oil producers have turned to rail as a transportation alternative. Although more expensive than pipeline, rail gets oil where it’s wanted. The future looks good for increased oil transport more »
Railways are the best when it comes to cargo as they can carry far more cargo than a truck or plane along with offering a wider and reliable range of weights and shipment times. After the deregulation of the rail industry in the 1980’s, the companies have been allowed to work more profitably and have also enjoyed market-beating returns. The main reasons for these successes are the improvement in more »
When evaluating a business, most investors concentrate on margins, ROE, ROIC, free cash flow, and a host of other metrics. While important, those measures of performance do not always reveal the true value-creating mechanism for a company.
Asset turnover is one metric that is often vital to a company's performance but rarely scrutinized by investors.
Can a Grocery Store Be a Better Business than a Railroad?
Grocery stores are more »
Investors have all sorts of options when it comes to measuring business performance. You can look at earnings per share, free cash flow, EBITDA, profit margins, and a host of other metrics. But usually there are just one or two metrics that really matter in the long run.
It is important to determine what the important metrics are so that you can focus all of your attention on evaluating the more »
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…"
A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
Mr. Dickens could have been writing about today's current investing climate judging by the opening lines of his novel. Today, the stock markets include the best and worst of times - with wisdom and foolishness abounding side by more »
The shale gas boom has severely hit the railroad sector. The declining natural gas prices have led to a sharp decline in the demand for coal, especially for the purposes of power generation. Given that coal forms the highest percentage of carloads of most of the railroads, the railroads have suffered a lot as a result.
However, there are some factors that are suggesting that the worst times might be more »
Ever increasing energy costs, along with the slowdown in the housing industry in the past, have forced investors to think about capital appreciation for their investments and invest in stocks that are less affected by such economic imbalances. This situation proved to be advantageous to large cap growth stocks. They took benefited from prevalent lower interest rates and attracted investors looking for long-term capital appreciation.
One of the investment management more »
Looking at western railroad Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) from the perspective of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you discover this company leans more toward strengths and opportunities versus weaknesses and threats, making it a superior investment.
Few competitors – Union Pacific faces only one major competitor in its western operating region, Berkshire Hathaway’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe. This gives Union Pacific a major pricing advantage.
Salable western coal – Union more »
The country’s major railroad companies recently came out with their 4th quarter and 2012 full year earnings. The amount of exposure to the weak coal markets helped discern the winners and losers among the rail companies. Low supplies of corn negatively affected agricultural revenue throughout the industry. Housing helped drive industrial product revenues, and oil demand continues to drive chemical freight. Overall, the western railroads won out in 2012:
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