Why Investors Should Run Towards Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR)

When stock prices are falling, the best mindset to have is a long term one. High quality stocks such as Genesee & Wyoming Inc. has fared well over time in a fickle stock market, which is why I want to bring it into light amongst all the chaos. Below I take a look at three key features of what makes a robust defensive stock investment: its size, financial health and track record.

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Genesee & Wyoming Inc. owns and leases freight railroads. Founded in 1899, and led by CEO John Hellmann, the company now has 8.00k employees and with the market cap of US$4.6b, it falls under the mid-cap category. Bear market volatility can have a short-term impact on large, well-established companies, but in the long-run, these businesses are likely to prevail. This is because fundamentally, nothing has changed. A fall in share price is hardly detrimental to its financial health and business operations. So, large-cap stocks are a safe bet to buy more of when the stock market is selling off.

NYSE:GWR Historical Debt January 30th 19
NYSE:GWR Historical Debt January 30th 19

Currently Genesee & Wyoming has US$2.3b on its balance sheet, which requires regular interest payments. This requires the business to have enough cash to meet these upcoming interest expenses. With an interest coverage ratio of 4.41x, Genesee & Wyoming produces sufficient earnings (EBIT) to cover its interest payments. Anything above 3x is considered safe practice. Furthermore, its operating cash flows amply covers its total debt by 23%, which is higher than the bare minimum requirement of 20%. Its cash and short-term investment is also sufficient to cover other upcoming liabilities, which means GWR is financially robust in the face of a volatile market.

NYSE:GWR Income Statement Export January 30th 19
NYSE:GWR Income Statement Export January 30th 19

GWR’s annual earnings growth rate has been positive over the last five years, with an average rate of 19%, outperfoming the market growth rate of 12%. It has also returned an ROE of 17% recently, above the market return of 18%. Genesee & Wyoming’s strong performance over time is a demonstration of its ability to grow through cycles, raising my confidence in the company as a long-term investment.

Next Steps:

Genesee & Wyoming makes for a robust long-term investment based on its scale, financial health and track record. Remember, in bear markets, sell-offs can be unjustified. Ask yourself, has anything really changed with Genesee & Wyoming? If not, then why not scoop it up at a discount? Lining your portfolio with a few well-established companies can reduce your risk and help you scale your wealth in the long run. One thing you should remember though, is to do your homework. Do your own research, come up with your point of view. Below is a list I’ve put together of other things you should consider before you buy:
  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GWR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GWR’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is GWR worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether GWR is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.