Old Economy

Old economy refers to a group of established businesses operating in a mature industry that don’t have to necessarily be traditional, industrial corporations. Not to the exclusion of technology companies, the phrase “old economy” highlights traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses.


Lots of corporate earnings are still streaming in for the third quarter, though mostly among smaller-cap companies. Top-line growth certainly isn’t robust, but it’s not bad either. The surprise I’ve noticed in third-quarter reporting has been the profitability. There has…

With the winter months just around the corner, Douglas Dynamics, Inc. (PLOW) is looking forward to as much snow falling as possible. Based in Milwaukee, Douglas Dynamics is one of the many small- and micro-cap companies reporting very good earnings…

Getting a sense of where stocks are going to go in the year ahead is always difficult with the major indices at their all-time highs. The fundamental backdrop is still very favorable for equities. While the Federal Reserve has put…

The resilience of this stock market is uncanny. Just when transportation stocks, a leading market sector at any time, took a well-deserved break, components turned upward and are once again pushing record highs. Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) is a benchmark…

While business conditions are pretty good in the domestic oil and gas business, they’re also holding up very well in the railroad sector. If railroad companies and related services are old economy, they are still important economic benchmarks and they…

Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) is a company that’s getting upgraded by the Street and earnings estimates are ticking higher. It’s great news for this benchmark stock and top wealth creator. The business cycle in old economy industrial businesses still has…

The great monetary expansion is still alive and well and the effect on equity securities continues to be profound. But what I find striking about the stock market’s continued advancement is that it’s blue chips that are pushing through to…

The Dow Jones Transportation Average keeps powering ahead, and the rest of the stock market is very close behind it. The strong performance of this index is confirmation of further Dow theory gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been…

Moody’s Investors Service just boosted Union Pacific Corporation’s (UNP) senior unsecured debt after the company reported another really good quarter. The railroad company’s numbers were extremely good, considering the weather in the first quarter. Total operating revenues for the quarter…

There’s a boom going on, and it’s old economy. The railroad business is alive and well. And equally as impressive as the freight and earnings results, railroad services and related businesses are benefitting. Over the near-term, it’s likely there’s going…

There are a whole bunch of brand-name stocks that recently appreciated back close to their highs, many of which will soon be reporting their earnings. Despite this fact, however, it still seems like a very difficult environment in which to…

It’s been a very choppy start to the year for stocks and with no real trend to latch onto, the news of the day is the catalyst for the trading action. There is still a positive undercurrent in the equity…

Good businesses have a tendency to remain that way, and when they experience a material price retrenchment on the equity market, it’s often worth a look. Chart Industries, Inc. (GTLS) is a company we’ve looked at before in these pages.…

With more and more companies reporting, earnings results are a mixed bag. There’s outperformance, underperformance, and some just plain awful sales results.  Coach, Inc. (COH) got hit hard after the company missed consensus big-time on a dramatic drop in North…

Some earnings reports are coming in now and a lot of them are pretty decent. At the very least, many are beating consensus and/or previous outlooks for upcoming quarters. This is all recognizing, of course, that earnings are managed and…

In the pursuit of reliability and consistency in business performance, AAON, Inc. (AAON) came through once again by reporting another record quarter. I’m absolutely convinced that any equity market portfolio is well served by having at least some exposure to…

To illustrate the solid business conditions that exist in the railroad industry, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (WAB) is a company that’s growing and has been an excellent stock market investment. Operating as Wabtec Corporation, which was created in 2009…

There are so many esoteric good businesses out there, but very few attractive investment opportunities for new money right now. In equities, I search for consistency from a company—consistency of corporate operating performance, diligent management in good times and bad,…