Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Special

Here's a little thought to distract you from the frustration of seemingly insufferable transport delays over the holiday season: might all this grief be a signal to either buy transport companies' shares or short them?

If it's true (as you may bitterly begin to suspect) that transport companies are ultimately profiting from captive UK customers (and the government) by raising fares despite ongoing public subsidy, under-investing in service improvement or snow-clearing and/or saving money by reducing services during difficult weather conditions, then might it not be worthwhile to buy their shares? I mean, if they're engaging in all theses tactics to be more profitable, then why not climb aboard?

Or perhaps you would prefer to bet that, if transport companies are unfairly taking advantage, then sooner or later they'll get rumbled and their stock prices will fall. In which case it may be worth shorting their shares.

In either case, any gains you might make would at least off-set fare increases and other costs. And the consolation that you are personally profiting from disruption might ease your personal discomfort.

Of course, your suspicions may prove to be unfounded or, even if true, may not be material to corporate results or otherwise sound in the market. In which case your investment won't pay off and you're misery may increase. But, hey, at least you'll be able to console yourself that you didn't just sit there simmering helplessly ;-).

Anyhow, safe travels and have a happy Christmas and New Year.

Image from ImpactLab.
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