Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern is the sixth largest railway company in North America. Its business is 100% freight transport. Essentially it owns and operates the North-South central 'spine' of the network, extending from the Great Lakes into the southern states and, critically, across the border into Mexico. The December quarter witnessed very strong numbers; the same is expected for the current (March) quarter. This improvement is being driven by three factors. First, the company's Mexican operations connect to fast-growing ports both on the Gulf of Mexico and, more important, the Pacific. This gives it a cost advantage. Next, it has put in place a 'hub' system with a number of America's leading trucking companies. They deliver containers to one of its 11 hubs for forwarding. This makes the movement of such freight faster. Finally, it has clearance for rapid transit across one of the two main Texas/Mexico rail crossings; not only does this reduce theft, but again it reduces both time and costs. Across much of the middle of America it enjoys significant time and cost advantages to other companies - rail or trucking - which import or export from the Pacific or Atlantic ports. Not all is perfect; the company over-expanded just before the credit crunch and is sitting on some expensive debt. Its stated intention is that this be re-financed soon. Delivery on this promise is the next stage to monitor, in what is likely to be a long-term growth story, even assuming American GDP remains static.   

Sedol Type Price Date
2607647 Buy USD 35.33 01/03/2010
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