NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Transportation stocks have been under "significant" pressure this year, exacerbated by the market's pullback and volatility over the past week.

But that could be an opportunity to buy select stocks in the sector, according to Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Report analysts.

"We believe last week's pullback represents an opportunity to add to positions of companies with unique investment opportunities including: self-help (FDX, UNP, and SWFT), secular growth tailwinds (XPO [housing, e-commerce, and out-sourcing], FDX [e-commerce], and UNP [Mexico, housing, and Gulf Coast PetroChem build-out]), pricing which is exceeding cost inflation (UNP, FDX, and WERN), and cost opportunities (FDX, UNP, SWFT, XPO, and WERN)," the Aug. 24 note said.

Even without the market pullback, investors have "grown more cautious about global growth prospects as well as transport pricing power amidst a weaker demand backdrop," the note said, however "our sense is that the pullback is implying a worse outlook than is probable."

"Although we are cognizant that the transportation fundamentals have weakened in recent months, the pullback feels overdone and we would continue to invest in companies with secular growth tailwinds, self-help stories, and better end-market exposure (consumer, housing, and automotive)," the note continued.

Here's Deutsche Bank's list of top transportation picks, paired with ratings from TheStreet Ratings for added perspective.

TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.

Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.

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1. FedEx Corp. (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report
Market Cap: $41 billion

YTD Return: -16.5%

FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally.

TheStreet Rating: Buy, B-
TheStreet Said: 
TheStreet Ratings team rates FEDEX CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FEDEX CORP (FDX) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • FDX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.48, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, FDX has a quick ratio of 1.59, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,893.00 million or 12.27% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 12.27%, FEDEX CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 197.29%.
  • FEDEX CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FEDEX CORP reported lower earnings of $3.60 versus $6.79 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($10.88 versus $3.60).
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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2. Swift Transportation Co. (SWFT)
Market Cap: $2.6 billion

YTD Return: -35.1%

Swift Transportation Company operates as a multi-faceted transportation services company in North America. The company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Central Refrigerated, and Intermodal.

TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet Said: 
TheStreet Ratings team rates SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO (SWFT) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO has improved earnings per share by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.13 versus $1.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.13).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Road & Rail industry. The net income increased by 26.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $40.20 million to $50.95 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $120.05 million or 11.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.79%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
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UNP

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3. Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) - Get Union Pacific Corporation Report
Market Cap: $70 billion

YTD Return: -32.4%

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, operates railroads in the United States.

TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet Said: 
TheStreet Ratings team rates UNION PACIFIC CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate UNION PACIFIC CORP (UNP) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and reasonable valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.64, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.04, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Road & Rail industry and the overall market, UNION PACIFIC CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 45.05% is the gross profit margin for UNION PACIFIC CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.17% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,709.00 million or 17.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, UNION PACIFIC CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.79%.
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XPO

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4. XPO Logistics Inc. (XPO) - Get XPO Logistics, Inc. Report
Market Cap: $3.2 billion

YTD Return: 15.8%

XPO Logistics, Inc. provides transportation and logistics services primarily in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Transportation and Logistics.

TheStreet Rating: Hold, C
TheStreet Said: 
TheStreet Ratings team rates XPO LOGISTICS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate XPO LOGISTICS INC (XPO) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • XPO's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 109.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.34, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Air Freight & Logistics industry. Despite the fact that XPO's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.74 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$70.50 million or 294.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Air Freight & Logistics industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 440.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$13.76 million to -$74.40 million.
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WERN

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5. Werner Enterprises Inc. (WERN) - Get Werner Enterprises, Inc. Report
Market Cap: $1.9 billion

YTD Return: -18%

Werner Enterprises, Inc., a transportation and logistics company, engages in transporting truckload shipments of general commodities in interstate and intrastate commerce. The company operates in two segments, Truckload Transportation Services and Value Added Services.

TheStreet Rating: Buy, B
TheStreet Said: 
TheStreet Ratings team rates WERNER ENTERPRISES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WERNER ENTERPRISES INC (WERN) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • WERNER ENTERPRISES INC has improved earnings per share by 25.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WERNER ENTERPRISES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.36 versus $1.18 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.65 versus $1.36).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Road & Rail industry. The net income increased by 24.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $25.63 million to $31.85 million.
  • WERN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.09 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, WERN has a quick ratio of 1.50, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 131.63% to $72.59 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, WERNER ENTERPRISES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.79%.