At an investor presentation, Kansas City Southern KSU provided an update on its second-quarter performance so far. Thanks to coronavirus-induced global economic slowdown, the company revealed that the second quarter of 2020 is “challenging” with volumes and revenues plunging 23% and 24% (from year-ago levels) respectively, quarter to date.
However, volumes have been improving lately with businesses opening up. Per the company, carloads improved 31% after having bottomed in early May. However, it is still 8% below pre-coronavirus levels.
For the second quarter, Kansas City Southern anticipates revenues of approximately $550 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same stands at $596.36 million. In the year-ago period, revenues totaled $714 million. The company will report second-quarter earnings numbers on Jul 17.
Kansas City Southern Price
Kansas City Southern price | Kansas City Southern Quote
In order to tackle the unprecedented crisis, Kansas City Southern is actively managing costs. In the first half of 2020, the company made travel and consulting restrictions, and also limited the backfills of open positions. In the second half, it expects to roll out voluntary separation plans and reduce pays of senior leaders.
Apart from cost-controls, benefits of the precision-scheduled railroading model helped reduce transportation expenses by 16% in May from that in March. Meanwhile, mechanical and engineering expenses reduced by 24% and 11% respectively in May, from March.
For 2020, the company is aiming for free cash flow of more than $500 million.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Kansas City Southern carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation sector are Scorpio Tankers Inc. STNG, Teekay Tankers Ltd. TNK and Frontline Ltd FRO. While Frontline sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Scorpio Tankers and Teekay Tankers carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Scorpio Tankers’ current-year earnings has been revised upward by 55% in the past 60 days.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Teekay Tanker’s current-year earnings has been revised 35.6% upward in the past 60 days.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Frontline’s current-year earnings has been revised 17.1% upward in the past 60 days.
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