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Is Canadian National a Buy After Its Unsuccessful Merger Attempt With Kansas City Southern?

By Rachel Warren, Brian Withers, and Lou Whiteman – Nov 3, 2021 at 11:45AM

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The company recently reported its third-quarter earnings.

After a failed merger and a recently announced management change, should investors still take a look at Canadian National Railway (CNI 0.48%)? In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Oct. 19, Fool contributor Lou Whiteman shares some takeways from the company's third-quarter earnings report, with some additional commentary from Fool contributors Brian Withers and Jason Hall. 

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Lou Whitman: Big news though, JJ Ruest, the CEO who was the architect behind this bid for Kansas City Southern and the one who is the target of The Children's Fund, he's decided he needs to spend more time with his family. He will leave both the CEO chair and the board.

He's leaving all everything by January 2022 if not sooner, I would take the sooner. The bid for Kansas City Southern gets better and better as it goes. I think everybody a year ago said they're crazy, they're never going to get this done. Actions, as I said, do have consequences.

Big takeaway here because I know we're out of time. I said on the Industrial show earlier this year, when the bid was dropped, this is a fine company. Everything's OK and it's going to be OK. This is a pick in two of our services. David is up, I think 560% before that after hours jump. He's been in it since 2008. This is the stock that you hold from 2008-2021 and keep going, and it just keeps going up.

There is nothing in these earnings that makes me think anything's wrong with this company. I think all along, they thought they could break up the Canadian Pacific deal, that's the only recently tried it.

I'm glad that's off the table. It was a bad deal for them and back to normal, back to running a railroad with someone else in charge, but actions have consequences. There's your Canadian National.

Brian Withers: We love it.

Jason Hall: And we thought Snowflake traded for a stupid price. [laughs]

Lou Whiteman: The funny thing without rehashing history, they offer $33 billion for Kansas City Southern. The private equity firms that were in first were offering about $20 billion.

They know value, now granted, there's not the same synergies. I think the strategy was, let's muck up the gears and no deal will get done because we are massive, and the status quo works for us. Sometimes things don't work out the way you plan. Now, he gets to spend more time with his family.

Jason Hall: We can keep talking about this on The Wrap or on The Five, but I say we let Brian Withers go because he's going to get blinded. There's a little sunbeam I see on your right eye, Brian.

Brian Withers: Right there? [laughs] It's that time of the year where the window just hits right there. But I wanted to give Lou the visual award for best visuals today. The toy railroad running off the track was just perfect. [laughs]

Lou Whiteman: Well, that's from my private collection. Those are the trains that I play with when I'm not on the air. It worked out, everything can get better.

Brian Withers: Fantastic well, fun show today, it's so great to get back into earnings, Lou, I appreciate to do a double duty and juggling with all the things that are going on with Canadian railroad. I think I'm the only one who's not on for the next hour. I will see you later.

Rachel Warren has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Snowflake Inc. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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