CP Rail may face economic risk, but
considered low-risk option for global exposure
Published: February 8, 2008
Source: National Post
When Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.'s fourth quarter results beat
analyst estimates on Jan. 29, 2007, the shares jumped more than
3.5%. They have risen more than $2 since, closing at $69.43 in
Toronto on Thursday. But Odlum Brown analyst Stephen Boland thinks
they have more room to run given his $85 price target and "buy"
In a note to clients, he reminded investors that CP's proposal to
buy Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad Corp. (DM&E), the largest
regional railroad in the U.S., is currently being reviewed by the
U.S. Surface Transportation Board for approval. A decision is
expected in the fall, but until then, CP's management has indicated
that DM&E's results are coming in as expected, Mr. Boland said.
CP also maintained its outlook for 2008, which was previously
announced in November. It calls for revenue growth of 4% to 6% and
prices to rise 3% to 5%. Adjusted earnings are forecast to be $4.70
to $4.85 per share, which implies growth of 9% to 12%, he added.
While the analyst likes CP's prospects in the very near term given
its exposure to global growth, he is nonetheless cautious and thinks
opinions of this exposure could be overly optimistic. "We tend to be
of the belief that it is quite likely that the global economy will
cool more than most expect, and this is something that may not be
priced into stocks exposed to global growth (unlike those with
higher U.S. exposure, where the belief of recession is becoming
increasingly common)," Mr. Boland said.
He does like the long-term outlook for North American railroads, as
well as the long-term global growth story, and considers CP a
low-risk option for those seeking this exposure versus other stocks.