Stock Interest Rises for These 2 Transportation Companies Before Earnings

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 6 cents per share, a decline of 62.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 7 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of 41 cents per share, a decline of 43.1% from last year.

The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported profit of 15 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 13 cents per share. In the second quarter, it missed forecasts by 6 cents. Analysts are projecting a rise of 32.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.12 billion.

Competitors to Watch: AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ:ALGT), Republic Airways Hldgs. Inc. (NASDAQ:RJET), SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), and United Continental Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:UAL).

Union Pacific Corp (NYSE:UNP) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.80 per share, a rise of 15.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $1.78. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $1.79 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $6.54 per share, a rise of 18.3% from last year.

The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting profit of $1.85 per share, and the previous quarter, it had net income of $1.59. Analysts are projecting a rise of 14.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $5.04 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNI), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP), Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR), Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. (NASDAQ:PWX), Pioneer Railcorp (PRRR), and RailAmerica, Inc. (NYSE:RA).