It's no secret: Kids love trains. As an investor, I must be channeling my inner child, because I am fascinated by the resilient performance of the U.S. railroads through this challenging economic environment.
Intermodal traffic (shipping containers) increased by 8%, but here again it was the pricing power exhibited by a 15% rise in per-unit revenue that drove the segment's contribution to CSX's successful quarter. Epitomized by FedEx's
Corroborating recent observations from Peabody Energy
On the strength of those powerful underlying trends in intermodal and coal traffic, CSX issued long-term guidance that calls for a compound annual growth rate of between 18% and 20% for the company's per-share earnings through 2015! When a reliable dividend payer with a shrinking share count starts telegraphing long-term earnings growth of that magnitude, discerning Fools -- each cheered on by their own inner child -- simply must take notice. Click here to join me in keeping a close eye on CSX using The Motley Fool's My Watchlist feature, and consider climbing aboard this long-term train of reliable shareholder returns.