So how is the economy? Take a look at Union Pacific railroad, the largest rail company in the US and the West. Sure,they are shipping 9% less coal but their most recent quarter shows automotive up 25 percent,industrial products up 14 percent, chemicals up 13 percent, intermodal up 10 percent and agricultural up 1 percent.
Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) reported 2012 second quarter net income of $1 billion, or $2.10 per diluted share, compared to $785 million, or $1.59 per diluted share, in the second quarter 2011. The company said the results were”best ever.”
Speaking of railroads, Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and RailAmerica jointly announced recently that they have entered into an agreement under which GWI will acquire RailAmerica for an all cash purchase price of $27.50 per share. GWI’s acquisition of RailAmerica will combine the two largest short line and regional rail operators in North America, strengthening GWI’s ability to serve its industrial customers and Class I railroad partners. Rail America owns the San Joaquin Railroad based in Exeter. The SJVR operates 417 miles of track with interchanges with the Union Pacific Railroad at Fresno, Goshen Junction and Bakersfield and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe at Fresno and Bakersfield.
The report of June almond shipments are in and year-to-date looks better than the month of June. YTD domestic sales are up 10.6% while exports are up 15.6%. For June, some export destinations are down including Mexico down12% and Europe down 21% All exports are are down 4% in June.
Car sales look good– witness AutoNation, the country’s largest dealership chain, reported record earnings in the second quarter as revenue rose 17%, to $3.9 billion.
LA area ports are building at a”furious pace” says the LA Times recently with a $6 billion expansion underway. The ports of LA and Long Beach will cut air pollution in half,add more trains and new handling equipment will run on electricity instead of diesel.
US Navy tested a 50-50 blend of biofuel and petroleum earlier this month in a huge maritime exercise off Hawaii. The biofuel is made from cooking oil and algae. Also the Navy vows to get half its power from renewable sources by 2020.