Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific Are on the Fast Track: Earnings Scorecard

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The four railroad and package delivery companies profiled today are components of the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which has risen 10% so far this year. Transports were up 15% when the index set an all-time intraday high at 8515.04 on July 23.

Union Pacific (UNP) is the outperformer and is up 19% year to date. The railroad traded to an all-time intraday high at $103.25 on July 23, the day before the company reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

In second place is Norfolk Southern (NSC) with a gain of 11% year to date. This railroad set an all-time intraday high at $108.84 on July 23 after reporting better-than-expected earnings before the opening bell that day. It appears that the Norfolk beat helped shares of Union Pacific set their high before the company reported results.

There are modest year-to-date gains for CSX Corp. (CSX) and FedEx (FDX), which are up 3.6% and 3.1%, respectively. CSX set an all-time intraday high at $31.59 on July 22 after beating analysts' earnings-per-share estimates a week earlier. FedEx gapped higher on June 18 after beating estimates by a dime. The stock set its all-time intraday high at $155.31 on July 17.

There are two companies on the scorecard that have year-to-date declines, however. United Parcel Service (UPS) is down 8.6% and gapped below its 200-day simple moving average after the company missed analysts' EPS estimates before the opening bell on July 29. Kansas City Southern (KSU) is down 9.8% year to date on the hangover from a gap below its 200-day SMA on Jan. 24 after the company reported EPS that missed analysts' estimates.

Here are the postearnings profiles for these six companies. Two "Crunching the Numbers" tables follow.

CSX Corp. ($29.80): After setting an all-time high at $31.59 on July 22 the stock broke below its 50-day simple moving average at $30.48 on July 31 and traded as low as $29.07 on Aug. 6.

The weekly chart is negative with its five-week modified moving average at $30.13. Annual value levels are $28.92 and $25.76 with a semiannual pivot at $30.05 and monthly and semiannual risky levels at $30.61 and $32.95, respectively.

FedEx ($148.28) has been trading back and forth around its 50-day SMA at $148.28 since July 29 after fading from its all-time intraday high at $155.31 on July 17.

The weekly chart is neutral with the stock above its five-week MMA at $148.04 with declining 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastics. Quarterly and monthly value levels are $142.30 and $141.71, respectively, with a semiannual pivot at $148.81 and weekly risky level at $156.20.

Kansas City Southern ($111.67): After gapping below its 200-day SMA at $113.35 on Jan. 24, the stock traded as low as $88.56 on Feb. 18 before beginning a trek up to fill that price gap, which is the Jan. 23 low at $116.50. KC Southern moved back above its 200-day SMA at $108.75 on July 8 and traded as high as $117.25 on July 23, filling that gap to the Jan. 23 low. Many technicians say that price gaps are almost always filled. The 200-day SMA has been a magnet since July 31.

The weekly chart is neutral with the stock above its five-week MMA at $110.02 with declining 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastics. An annual value level at $99.40 gave investors the opportunity to buy this stock on the January and February decline. Weekly and semiannual risky levels are $114.58 and $121.15, respectively.

Norfolk Southern ($102.84): After setting an all-time intraday high at $108.84 on July 23 the stock moved below its 50-day SMA at $102.88 on July 31 and traded as low as $99.63 on Aug. 6.

The weekly chart is neutral with the stock above its five-week MMA at $102.69 with declining 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastics. Quarterly and semiannual value levels are $95.06 and $94.37, respectively, with semiannual and monthly risky levels at $105.19 and $107.06, respectively.

Union Pacific ($99.57): After setting an all-time intraday high at $103.25 on July 23 the stock moved below its 50-day SMA at $100.24 on July 29, trading as low as $96.76 on Aug. 6.

The weekly chart is neutral with the stock above its five-week MMA at $99.48 with declining 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastics. Semiannual and annual value levels are $93.61 and $75.90, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $99.14 and quarterly and monthly risky levels at $102.34 and $107.35, respectively.  

United Parcel Service ($96.07): Broke below its 200-day SMA at $99.80 on July 29 following the premarket earnings miss, trading as low as $94.87 on Aug. 8.

The weekly chart is negative with its five-week MMA at $99.57. Annual value levels are $80.14 and $63.31 with a monthly pivot at $96.41 and weekly and semiannual risky levels at $98.85 and $102.34, respectively.  

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