Rail Traffic Remains Elevated

By Todd Sullivan of Value Plays

Total N. American rail traffic rose to 705K last week from 701K the week before. Remember before we expected traffic to start to slide going into the holiday season. The fact it is staying above the 700k level (higher than the highs of 2010) is very positive for Q4 growth prospects. Note: we are only 1/3 through Q4 so we can’t simply say we’ll get 2%-3% Q4 growth but the signs are very positive.

Of the carriers, $CSX$NSC$BNI ($BRK.A), $KSU and $UNP all showed minor gains for the week. As for the “what” was hauled, grains and chemicals showed improvements while the other categories were only modestly changed.

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The chart:

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About the Author

Todd Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based value investor and a General Partner in Rand Strategic Partners. He looks for investments he believes are selling for a discount to their intrinsic value given their current situation and future prospects. He holds them until that value is realized or the fundamentals change in a way that no longer support his thesis. His blog features his various ideas and commentary and he updates readers on their progress in a timely fashion. His commentary has been seen in the online versions of the Wall St. Journal, New York Times, CNN Money, Business Week, Crain’s NY, Kiplingers and other publications. He has also appeared on Fox Business News & Fox News and is a RealMoney.com contributor. His commentary on Starbucks during 2008 was recently quoted by its Founder Howard Schultz in his recent book “Onward”. In 2011 he was asked to present an investment idea at Bill Ackman’s “Harbor Investment Conference”.

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