Our top pick for conservative investors is also Canada's top entry in the transportation category, explains Canadian stock expert Gordon Pape, editor of Internet Wealth Builder.
CN Rail is the most cost-efficient railroad on the continent—in fact, no one else is even close to its 59.8% operating ratio.
The company's earnings are steadily growing—third-quarter profit was $705 million ($1.67 a share, fully diluted), up from $664 million ($1.52 per share) in the same period last year.
The shares split two-for-one recently. Since we originally recommended the stock back in 2002, at a split-adjusted price of $12.98, we have enjoyed a capital gain of 350%, plus steadily increasing dividends.
The company continues to benefit from increased oil-by-rail transportation, as the pipeline squeeze has forced producers to look for alternative ways to move product to market.
This trend is expected to continue, despite the Lac Megantic disaster (which was not a CN train), and some other highly-publicized derailments. CN Rail is one of my core picks and I believe it should be in every portfolio.