Union Pacific’s stock carries the highest price to book ratio among the six Class I Railways. It is about a 1.43 times factor over the next best price to book ratio of CSX at 4.73. Strong price to book ratio investments infrequently have deep or extended price depressions. Therefore, an investor must be patient and wait for opportunities to buy. Take note, Union Pacific’s price to book ratio is 2.33 times that of Kansas City Southern. This means the buy/sell model is also different; it is actually almost the exact opposite of KSU’s model. In KSU’s model, the investor looks for opportunity when the price slips more than 5% and then sells once the stock recovers about 12%. With Union Pacific, the investor gets value by waiting on the price to dramatically decrease. The change must be more than 17% decrease. Gains are earned once the stock recovers almost to the prior peak. This peak to peak model takes much longer to cycle through with high price to book ratio investments, but the reward is worth the wait.
To develop a good model, the reader needs to understand why the down aspect of the cycle is where the real value is earned. Unlike KSU’s model where the down point to buy is 5% less than the peak, with Union Pacific the down point must be greater. In addition, another section explains that buying in a down cycle more than one time is also lucrative to the investor. Finally, the sell point is set and the corresponding results are calculated. The end result is a model that earns a good return for a high price to book ratio investment.