Comparing the Performance of Major North American Railroads

Six of the major railroad companies that operate in North America currently are publicly-listed. These Class I freight railroads are:

1.Company: Canadian National Railway Co (CNI)
Current Dividend Yield: 1.68%
Country: Canada

2.Company: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP)
Current Dividend Yield:
Country: Canada

3.Company: CSX Corp (CSX)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.78%
Country: USA

4.Company: Kansas City Southern (KSU)
Current Dividend Yield: 1.02%
Country: USA

5.Company: Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC)
Current Dividend Yield: 3.32%
Country: USA

6.Company: Union Pacific Corp (UNP)
Current Dividend Yield: 2.26%
Country: USA

Note: Dividend yields are as of Dec 5, 2012

The year-to-date performance of these railroads is shown below:

Click to enlarge


The 5-year performance is shown below:



Canadian Pacific is well ahead of Canadian National this year due to the successful proxy fight by U.S. hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and the subsequent installation of former Canadian National CEO Hunter Harrison as the new CEO of CP. Mr.Harrison is already shaking things up at CP by eliminating 4,500 jobs (or 23% of CP’s workforce)  by 2016 with 1,700 of those jobs by the end of this year.

Disclosure: Long CNI, CSX and NSC

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