Amtrak Stock

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Amtrak Stock

Postby gprimr1 » Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:10 pm

I was wondering if it's possible to buy stock in Amtrak. I am aware that it doesn't pay dividends and I've read that it's stock is valued at worthless, but I would still consider buying a share or two to show my support for it.

Imagine if people started buying stock in it to show there support for Amtrak. I wonder if the politicians would notice that.
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Postby David Benton » Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:35 am

The shares are not traded.
the closest thing possible to what you are wanting to do would be along similar lines to what ethical finance groups offer . That is, to organise loans where the interest rate is well below the market rate . say a nominal 1% or so . the advantage to amtrak would be to repay some of its high interest loans , with low interest ones , saving a decent amount .
But i doubt such a scheme would get off the ground .
your best way to support Amtrak is to spend that money on amtrak tickets .
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Postby JimBoylan » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:44 am

David Benton wrote:The shares are not traded.
But, they can be bought and sold. Some shares are publicly owned. Penn Central was the largest original share holder. There was a news account in Spring 2006 mentioning that the largest current stockholder thought that Amtrak was breaking District of Columbia corporation law by not having an annual meeting or election of directors. Is American Premier Insurance, the new name for Penn Central, the complainer, or did some financier buy a lot of shares from various 1971 railroads? Some of them got stock for joining Amtrak or giving it equipment. The law that established Amtrak set it up as a for-profit company with stockholders entitled to dividends, ha, ha!
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Postby wigwagfan » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:03 am

As of 2003, this report should explain Amtrak's stock ownership:

[list=]American Premier Underwriters (insurance sub. of Am. Financial Group) 53 %
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad 35 %
Canadian Pacific Railroad 7%
Canadian National Railroad 5%[/list]

(Note that American Premier Underwriters is the corporate successor to Penn Central.)

It is true that Amtrak stock is not routinely traded; you won't find Amtrak shares on any stock exchange (i.e. NYSE, NASDAQ) - it would be considered an OTC stock, but given the sparsity of trades, you'd probably have to just deal with one of the four above entities directly.

However it is not to say that Amtrak stock cannot be traded - obiviously American Premier Underwriters has purchased the shares formerly owned by numerous other railroads - Union Pacific doesn't own any Amtrak stock anymore, for example; nor does Norfolk Southern or CSX. I once recall a phrase used by a railroad executive - "anything's for sale at the right price" - and I'm sure if someone offered the right price, they'd gladly unload their Amtrak stock. The question is, why would you want it; knowing that you have no voting privileges, no representatation on the Board of Directors, no hope for a dividend (publicly traded companies are NOT required to issue a dividend), a stock that cannot be easily traded nor has significant value.
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Postby Vincent » Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:22 am

People buy Amtrak coffee cups, ball caps, tee shirts, key chains--who's to say they wouldn't spend $49 on one share of National Railroad Passenger Corporation stock? Christmas is coming, it could be this year's pet rock.
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:34 pm

Referring to Note 6: Capital Stock of the Sep 30, 2005 Annual Report (latest available), Amtrak is required under ARAA '97 to redeem the 9,385,684 outstanding shares of $10 par Common Stock by the end of FY 2002. Towards that end. Amtrak has offered the four shareholders `(they are undisclosed; but I am prepared to accept Mr. Halstead's listing) $.03 (three cents) per share, but the shareholders have deemed that offer as "unacceptable".

There the matter stands writing one more chapter in Amtrak's "Perils of Pauline" history.
---------------------------
I'm not much on Signature lines, BUT

The accompanying Notes are an integral part of these Financial Statements

Prof. Nichols to Accounting 101: "READ THE NOTES"
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Postby John_Perkowski » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:48 pm

Thank you Mr Norman.

MODERATOR'S NOTE:

If Amtrak were the Green Bay Packers, and the stock, while not yielding any economic benefit, at least was that of a winner, you might get folks to do something like this.

Amtrak is not the Green Bay Packers.

The issue of Amtrak stock and corporate governance is open for discussion. Further comments regarding buying stock as a present for a railfan will be removed from the thread.
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Postby 7 Train » Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:52 pm

Hmmm... Quite interesting. I always thought (and remebered reading) that Amtrak was a wholly-owned subsidary of the US Federal Government, with 100% controlling interest.
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Postby hsr_fan » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:30 pm

Couldn't do any worse than my Loral stock did! :wink:
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:45 pm

There is much truth to Mr.7 Train's statement, as thus far it appears our discussion is has been focused on the $ 93 Million of Common Stock issued to the railroads for their membership "buy ins". That stock has been deemed essentially "worthless'.

Now, as Mr. 7 Train notes, there is the Preferred Stock in which the sole holder is the US Government. That stock is carried on the Balance Sheet at $10.9 Billion, and represents a portion of funding received since 1981. Suffice to say, that stock too is "worthless'.

I think the best reference for these comments of mine are contained in Notes 5 and 6 of the 2005 Annual Report which is available for review through the website. If I were to report more, I believe I would succeed in confusing most readers - including myself.

But I will close with the comment that no other government agency is required to call their annual appropriation Capital Stock or Paid in Capital - terms customarily associated with the 'stake' the investors have placed in a private enterprise, and the Financial Statements are a measurement of the return on that investment the enterprise has provided to such holders. A government agency is not concerned about "return on investment"; its "financial statements' are designed to show an appropriation coming in by fiat and how the agency used it - hopefully in an economic and efficient manner. In short agency accounting resembles household, or "cookie jar' accounting.
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Postby Tadman » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:04 pm

I thought I heard Carl Lindner, of the fruit company, bought APUI's stock a year or two back. I can't imagine why, other than maybe a tax shelter.

See this thread:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... ht=lindner

Second edit: I guess Carl Lindner is APUI as well as United Fruit - it makes sense, as both are Cincinnati outfits. See this thread for my info:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... ner+amtrak
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Postby wigwagfan » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:46 am

MODERATOR'S NOTE:

For those wishing to make a financial contribution to Amtrak as a gift to yourself, your friends, or to help save Amtrak, here is a convenient link for you to make your contribution:

Amtrak Reservations on-line

Those wishing to continue stock related discussion (of any stock other than Amtrak) can head here. (Note that said link does not imply an endorsement of the website, the products and/or services offered at such site, but is simply one of many links available on the Internet.)
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Postby JimBoylan » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:24 pm

While past performance, especially of other companies, is no guarantee of future success, I am reminded of those dumb college kids back in 1974 who paid more than $400,000 to buy a majority interest in the Reading Company at 10 cents a share from N&W or C&O. After winning the "net depreciated value" suit with Uncle Sam, they're laughing all the way to the bank!
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Postby John_Perkowski » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:48 pm

If you have commentary to post regarding Amtrak and its stock as regards corporate governance and fiduciary duties, feel free to PM either Mr Halstead or myself. We'll unlock the thread for your post.
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Postby JimBoylan » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:52 am

WARNING: These comments are highly speculative and most likely, dangerous to your wealth:
"If the U.S. succeeds in privatizing Amtrak without running it through the bankruptcy courts, the common stock MIGHT have some value. Amtrak does own valuable real estate. Even with the railroad running, the air rights could be worth something. Speculators might even gamble on Amtrak failing and the land getting sold, or the energy situation changing in a way that makes Amtrak profitable. In the meantime, the certificates are very rare on the collectors' market.
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