Like the runaway train in that Denzel Washington flick, these North American railroad operators seem unstoppable.
Following smaller operator Genesee & Wyoming's
Meanwhile, remarkable strength from domestic intermodal demand yielded a 19% increase in related revenue on a 9% surge in volume. Reflecting a long-standing trend that has sparked much of the resilient strength in the performance of railroads through this lasting economic downturn, CSX noted the movement of container traffic from the roads to the rails as domestic volume grew to a virtually even split with international volume.
Speaking of long-standing trends, I remind those investors who may be turning a cold shoulder to railroad stocks in response to the coal-market malaise of two important facts. First, while the recent downturn in coal demand is substantial, it occurs within the backdrop of a long-term global supercycle that major producer Peabody Energy
CSX shares have appreciated by nearly 300% over the trailing decade, steamrolling a corresponding 65% advance for the S&P 500! Combining attractive dividend yields with a proven commitment to shareholder value in the form of those aggressive share repurchases, I continue to view the North American railroads as superb long-term investment vehicles.