SOURCE: Five Star Equities
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 30, 2013) - Railroad stocks have surged recently as a number of railroad companies have reported strong earnings growth despite experiencing a steep drop in coal shipments. The iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average ETF (IYT) has gained over 10 percent year-to-date, while the Standard and Poor's 500 Railroads Index (S5RAIL) is up roughly 9 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Railroads Industry and provides equity research on CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU).
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Kansas City Southern, CSX and Norfolk Southern have all reported profits in the fourth quarter that were better-than-expected. A major decline for domestic coal became a major concern for the Railroads Industry in 2012 as railways account for approximately two-thirds of all U.S. coal shipments. Recoveries in the U.S. housing and automotive markets have played a major part in offsetting costs related to sharp drops in coal shipments. According to the Association of American Railroads shipments of lumber and motor vehicles saw increases of 13 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively, in 2012.
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CSX serves major markets in the eastern United States and has access to over 70 ocean, river and lake port terminals along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Shares of the company spiked earlier this month after announcing it plans to spend roughly 2.3 billion in planned capital investments in 2013 to "help meet the nation's long-term demand for freight rail".
Kansas City Southern is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama. The company reported record revenues of $568 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company's record revenues were driven by a 33 percent increase in automotive revenues.
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