Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)


The purpose of this paper is to establish objective decision criteria for the advisability of investing funds in Burlington Northern, Inc. common stock for either long-term capital gains, cyclical gains, or speculative profits. The specific problem becomes one of identifying the positive and negative factors which would be used in the market to determine or influence the present and future price and the return on the company's common stock

The data for the study was obtained primarily by library research. Many financial newspapers and periodicals were used as well as information found in other sources. Not just company financial information was investigated, but also information about financing of the railroad industry as a whole, the competency and initiative of Burlington Northern's management, the future of the industry as a whole, and any other information which was felt pertinent to the study

Financial analysis methods are used to compare the company's data from year to year and also to compare the data with Class I railroads as a group. An analysis is also made of the areas felt to be the most important to the company's future profitability and growth. The analysis of this data is used along with other pertinent data found to develop a feeling for the probable status of the company during the next several years

The result of the study is a rational decision on whether or not an investment in Burlington Northern would result in a reasonable return for the investor, assuming that the conditions and assumptions laid forth in the study remain true