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This weekly report presents the most recent views we are hearing from industry insiders and summarizes the research of Wolfe Trahan. Included are (1) key takeaways, selected shipper comments; (2) notices of upcoming industry events; (3) key takeaways from some of our notes from the past week; (4) recent stock performance for our transport universe; (5) updated comparison tables for the airfreight & logistics group, railroads, and trucking; and (6) fuel trends for West Texas Crude Oil, On-highway diesel, Rail diesel, and Jet fuel.
Ed Wolfe Audio Brief: Some Takeaways from the 5th Annual Wolfe Trahan Global Transportation Conference
This week’s Audio Brief consists of 11 slides inspired by different conversations we had with industry insiders, shippers and freight company senior managers at our conference over the past 72 hours. Overall, the tone of demand is muted but relatively consistent. Everything we heard confirms our conviction that investors must be overweight transport stocks in 2012. The transports should continue to grow EPS and cash flow materially above the market as they have done the past two quarters driven by high-end domestic U.S. and U.S. import exposure, consistent domestic freight demand, bottoming Asia to U.S. demand, solid domestic pricing and relatively muted Consensus expectations and valuation. Downwardly cascading diesel prices throughout the quarter (see Slide 11) also should propel EPS for some modes of transports during 2Q.
Total Week 20 rail vols increased 1.0% y/y vs. -0.2% and +1.9% the prior 2 weeks. Excluding continued weak coal, rail vols grew 5.0% y/y, accelerated from +3.6% and +4.8% the last 2 weeks. Total rail vols are now tracking up 0.6% QTD, down modestly from +1.0% in 1Q and compared with our expectations of about +2% for the qtr.
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