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Disagree With the Market to Potentially Benefit from Horizon Lines Inc. (HRZ)

This stock touched a 52-week low in April 2008. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment opportunity. There are three reasons to disagree with the stock market with respect to this small capital corporation from Charlotte,, NC.

Firstly, stock analysts appear to be upset because the management has changed earnings guidance periodically. However, this should be seen in business management terms as transparent behavior, and reassuringly adaptive to volatility in the commercial sector. Every stock will be affected by cyclical trends, and investors should appreciate management teams that are candid about macro effects on their enterprises.

Secondly, this stock is a part of the Water Transportation Industry. Though demand has been weak in the Puerto Rico region where the company concentrates, the long-term demand prospects for this part of the transportation sector are sound. Since the entire industry is equally affected by the crude oil price inflation, it is only a matter of time before gross margins adjust to new costs. Water transportation is used for vital farm inputs and outputs, and has vast potential in tourism as well. Every company in this sector has excellent prospects of full capacity utilization on an extended basis.

Thirdly, this management has invested in upgrading and modernizing its fleet. The strategy of doing this during a lean phase of the economy strengthens stock prospects in the long run.

The Payout Ratio over the last four quarters for this stock has been more than twice the norm for the Water Transportation Industry. Return on Average Equity has been 14.29% during this period. The Price to Earnings Ratio is below 16. That is why discerning investors might consider not following the market price trend for this stock at present.

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