Bill Ackman invested in Canadian Pacific in September 2011, when the S&P 500 index was at 1132. Today the index is at 1930, so some of Mr. Ackman's success with CP resulted from fortunate timing. I'll admit choosing Hunter Harrison for CEO was a wise choice. I would like to see CP resume talks with CSX.
I wonder how the train engineer knows the length of the train? He checks the computer data, but how does the computer know? If you asked me, I would try to observe the train, while stationary, from a measuring station 1,000 feet away, using a surveyor's transit mounted on a tripod, and triangulate the train engine and last car with my observation point.
Some flatcars are 89' long, for containers. Some boxcars are 50'. I just guessed what the average might be. Any suggestions are welcome.
Who was the big seller who forced the market negative in the last hour of trading? Almost has to be a sovereign government. I don't think it was investors getting margin calls, on a day when shares were up 2%.
How could we measure the length of a train? Possibly we could count 8,000 cars in the train and multiply by average car-length, or possibly employ a surveillance drone, or take a long range photo of the train and compare it with landmarks in the background.
I think the U.S. stock market is going to swoon, when investors start selling large capitalization tech stocks in earnest. Investors worldwide own AAPL, GOOG, and MSFT, and they are going to need to raise cash because global markets are crashing. It is just beginning, in my opinion. Look at AMZN, with $231 billion market cap, and no earnings. Or look at AAPL, with $600 billion market cap, and their main business is selling telephones. Nokia or Motorola investors could tell us how big a moat phone manufacturers have. Therefore, I plan to sell my CSX shares, my only common stock holding, on Monday morning at the open.
You are mistaken. Tech stocks are just beginning their plunge. After your comment Thursday,
They have plenty of room to fall from here.
Reminds me of 2008 bear market. Every stock I bought then and now, such as Wells Fargo, Disney, AIG, United Health, American Express seemed like dull, conservative investments. They all plunged in short order. Wonder what it will be like when people decide to sell elephant market caps like AAPL, AMZN, and GOOG?
CNBC article has headline linked above. East Coast ports gain market share from West Coast after labor strife in LA-Oakland, have 7 of 10 fastest growing U.S. ports. CSX container traffic growing quickly, according to railcar loading data on CSX web site.
EIA Projection for next 27 years:
"Coal use in the Reference case grows from 18.0 quadrillion Btu (925 million short tons) in 2013 to 19.0 quadrillion Btu (988 million short tons) in 2040. As previously noted, the Reference case and other AEO2015 cases do not include EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which if it is implemented is likely to have a significant effect on coal use."
Energy Information Agency:
What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source?
In 2014, the United States generated about 4,093 billion kilowatthours of electricity.1 About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).
Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2014:
• Coal = 39%
• Natural gas = 27%
• Nuclear = 19%
• Hydropower = 6%
• Other renewables = 7% • Biomass = 1.7%
• Geothermal = 0.4%
• Solar = 0.4%
• Wind = 4.4%
• Petroleum = 1%
• Other gases
Coal is not really "dead". Natural gas at $2.70/MMBtu is very competitive, resulting in fuel switching at the electricity generating plants that have the capability. Not all plants can switch. As recently as December 2014, nat gas sold for $4.00/MMBtu. We had a very mild winter in 2014. Let's see what the spot price for nat gas is in December 2015.
Coal carloadings for CSX, compared with the corresponding 2014 week, are actually beginning to improve.
Coal carloadings versus 2014
week 28 17596 -28%
week 29 18987 -16%
week 30 19957 -13%
week 31 18386 -17%
week 32 19556 -11%
Story at Fox News. If we get a Republican President, or even a Democrat, coal might recover now that George Soros is loaded up with shares in Peabody and Arch. Then, RR's will start hauling coal again. Looks like George plays a very long game.
Looks to me as though the after hours trade down 2% occurred before the earnings release.
Here are the time stamps:
NASDAQ After Hours: 16:30 $ 44.2405 High 776
First news story on Yahoo:
American Railcar Industries, Inc. Reports Strong Quarterly Earnings and ShipmentsGlobeNewswire(Wed 4:44PM EDT)
So it appear somebody made a very small downwards trade about 14 minutes before earnings release. 776 shares at $44.24 = $34,330. I'm guessing it wasn't Carl Icahn.
I think the guardrail litigation provides us with the opportunity to buy Trinity at a rock-bottom price. Were it not for that uncertainty, share price might be much higher.
Congratulations on your work experience at ARII--I am nearly retired, after working in an unrelated field, and have to scrounge through public documents in order to glean little snippets of information about railcars.
Trinity VP said in conf call we are in "an extended railcar cycle"....
Steve Menzies - Senior Vice President, Group President of TrinityRail Inc.
......During the second quarter, the industry received orders for approximately 20,000 railcars and maintained a steady level of backlog. TrinityRail received orders for 11,170 railcars, increasing our backlog to 59,830 railcars with a value of $6.9 billion. We received orders for open top hoppers, covered hoppers of varying capacities, box cars, auto racks, flat cars and tank cars reflecting broad market demand for a wide variety of railcar types.
The diversity of these orders reflects demand beyond the energy sector. Activity in the upstream energy markets propelled the railcar industry out of the last downturn and generated a robust level of demand for the last several years. More recently, the demand environment has shifted away from this catalyst and is now supported by increased activity in the downstream petrochemical markets, as well as the agriculture, construction, consumer and automotive markets.
The rotation in current railcar market demand drivers toward these broad markets, combined with increased replacement needs for an aging fleet of general purpose freight cars, supports our view of an extended railcar cycle..................
I wrote this comment on Seeking Alpha:
A few background statistics, in case there might be anybody out there who is actually interested in Trinity Industries.....
There are 1.5 million freight cars in North America, according to Railway Age. Their average age is 20 years-old, which implies a 40-year lifespan. Regulations state that they can be used 50 years before requiring a major overhaul, but the useful lifespan is often shorter because of technologic obsolescence--e.g. larger tank cars, double-stacked container transporters, electronic brakes, thick-hulled tankers. Anyway, to refresh the fleet every 40 years requires about 1.5 million/40=37,500 new car orders annually. Greenbrier says that the long term average annual order rate is 50,000 cars, which suggests the fleet must be growing larger with time.
There were 67,383 deliveries of new cars in 2014, and a projected 83,000 deliveries throughout all of 2015. That means we are in record territory for new railcar orders this year, and many analysts say, without any proof, that we are at the cyclical peak.
If railcar orders plummet, Trinity profits will plunge, unless they have a huge backlog, which is a 2-year backlog in the actual case. But if railcar orders taper down over many years to a low of, say, 20,000 new cars per year, Trinity will be scarcely affected. The Railcar Manufacturing industry has published their projection, which is for a slow decline of orders over many years. I believe this is a rosy scenario for Trinity and Greenbrier.