Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Update on Railroads

A couple of days ago, I said I was looking at purchasing some railroad shares. They are a longer term play on the broader economy, and there are a couple of big factors I like in the industry. Those are efficiency, lower fuel costs than trucking, access to moving commodities, which I think will be coming back strong. You can see more of that analysis here.

My update is that I did some more research, and I'd like to adjust what I'm looking to buy a bit. Norfolk Southern, which I mentioned before, is a good company with strong margins. But they have too much exposure to automobiles for me. I'm looking at some of the west coast names a little harder, and those are Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI) and Union Pacific (UNP). They both have exposure to the agriculture and coal industries, and are better positioned to ship goods en route to Asia, where a lot of demand comes from.

I'll have more info on this forthcoming, but for now take a look at a great presentation on data on BNI. (pdf file).

Disclosure: No Positions.