Kansas City Southern, the first Class I railroad out of the earnings report gate, took a revenue hit based on a carloadings drop, yet managed to post a 58.8% quarterly operating ratio. KCS also will initiate a $500 million share repurchase program on Oct. 16.
Kansas City Southern
The Surface Transportation Board has determined that five of the “Big 7” U.S. Class I railroads achieved revenue adequacy in 2019: BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line (the U.S. affiliate of Canadian Pacific) and Union Pacific. STB determined that those Class I’s achieved a rate of return on investment (ROI) equal to or greater than the Board’s calculation of the average cost of capital for the freight rail industry, which for 2019 is 9.34%.
Intermodal’s growth path may help railroads sustain COVID-19 recovery. “Participants from Class I railroads were positive on current trends and cautiously optimistic that these trends can continue for the remainder of 2020 and beyond,” Cowen and Co. analysts Jason Seidl (Managing Director and Railway Age Wall Street Contributing Editor), Matt Elkott and Adam Kramer reported, following their attendance and participation at the North East Association of Rail Shippers (NEARS) Fall 2020 Virtual Conference. “Continued tightness in trucking is benefiting intermodal.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 9 that Kansas City Southern has rejected a $20 billion bid (approximately $208 per share) from buyout investors led by private-equity firms Blackstone Group Inc. (BX) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) , according to unidentified “people familiar with the matter.”
Kansas City Southern (KCS) has promoted Rodrigo Flores from Vice President Automotive to Vice President Automotive and Intermodal Sales, effective Sept. 1, 2020. In this expanded role, Flores will be responsible for the automotive and intermodal business units in the U.S. and Mexico.
Kansas City Southern (KCS) has formally joined the global network of Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS)—the Plastic Industry Association and American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division’s campaign to reduce pellet, flake and powder loss for greater product stewardship and environmental protection. OCS aims to reach all aspects of the plastics industry and is being adopted globally through the Global Declaration of Solutions to Marine Litter.
Two private equity firms are considering a takeover bid for Kansas City Southern, according to a report based on information from anonymous sources in the Wall Street Journal posted late afternoon on July 31, just before the closing bell on Wall Street.
Kansas City Southern (KCS) reported 2Q20 revenues of $547.9 million, a decrease of 23% from 2Q19, primarily as a result of an overall decline in demand due to COVID-19. Overall, carload volumes were down 21% compared to the prior year.
“We view concerns around Kansas City Southern’s concession in Mexico as overblown. The exclusivity provision cannot be revisited until 2027 and the concession remains in effect for 20 years after that. Further, KSU is improving its operations via PSR, which should aid Mexico as reliable rail service is likely to be a necessity for the country as it grows its manufacturing base. Reiterate Outperform.”
As the U.S.-Mexico-Canadian trade agreement (USMCA) officially becomes the governing statute for commerce across North America, Marc Brazeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), Iker de Luisa Plazas, Director General of Asociacion Mexicana de Ferrocarriles (AMF) and Ian Jefferies, President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) issued the following statement: