A Defensive Position to Investing in Transportation Stocks: Expert Analyst Benjamin J. Hartford Discusses His Recommendations on Investing in the Space with The Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - October 2, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Transportation and Logistics Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Regulatory Issues in the Trucking Industry - Trucking Pricing & Capacity Dynamics - Truckload, LTL, Parcel, Rail and Intermodal - Technology Adoption and Infrastructure Investments

Companies include: Ryder System, Inc. (R), United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), FedEx Corporation (FDX), CSX Corp. (CSX), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC), Union Pacific Corp. (UNP), Expeditors International of Wa (EXPD), CH Robinson Worldwide Inc. (CHRW), Knight Transportation Inc. (KNX), Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN), Con-Way, Inc. (CNW), Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (ODFL), Landstar System Inc. (LSTR), UTI Worldwide, Inc. (UTIW) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Transportation and Logistics Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: How are you advising that the companies that you work with invest in this environment?

Mr. Hartford: The position that we have taken in 2013 is one of defensive positioning, because our view regarding the pace of the recovery is still cautious. There are structural headwinds as it relates to economic growth that have certainly pressured potential GDP growth and underlying freight growth. So our advice to investors has been to remain defensive.

I do think that we have seen underlying freight volumes show some signs of stability in 2013. We've seen that both on the airfreight side and with domestic modes. Underlying freight stability provides the basis for companies that have self-help stories - in other words, company-specific margin-improvement opportunities - to execute these strategies. Margin improvement provides the opportunity to generate outsized profit growth in spite of a challenging macroeconomic backdrop.

The names that we have been highlighting that have margin improvement catalysts are Con-way and FedEx. Other companies that do not have the self-help component to them but have merging catalysts that we have been recommending are Ryder and Roadrunner (RRTS). Roadrunner doesn't have a margin-specific catalyst to it per se, but it does have a company-specific growth catalyst at a reasonable valuation.

TWST: I like that expression - self-help, the company self-help guide. As you look at that, are there any management teams that have been particularly effective in kind of generating their own self-help platform?

Mr. Hartford: The problem with self-help stories is that they first have to get to a situation where the help is needed. The companies oftentimes have either structural challenges to their models, as in the cases of FedEx and Con-way, or management issues. We have seen some early signs of traction within these "self-helps," but it often requires having to dip down the quality...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

View Comments (0)