The polar vortex is a perfect storm for railroad stocks, J.P. Morgan says

|By:, SA News Editor

Beneath this winter’s plentiful snow, railroads are emerging as a rare investment opportunity, J.P. Morgan analysts say.

The surge in demand for coal from U.S. power plants is pushing up coal prices, and coal is by far the biggest cargo carried on U.S. rails, accounting for 41% of all rail tonnage and 21% of rail gross revenue; J.P Morgan argues that at some point, coal should provide a positive catalyst for railroad company stocks since it accounts for so much of their revenue.

The firm likes eastern railroad plays CSX and Norfolk Southern (NSC) since their networks serve the highest concentration of coal-burning utilities in the part of the country hit hardest by the cold weather; Omaha-based Union Pacific (UNP) also is hauling a lot more coal as utilities rebuild their supplies.