Con-Way shares to rise after business overhaul: Barron's

Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:02pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of Con-Way Inc (CNW.N) could jump by as much as 20 percent by year-end after the U.S. trucking company finishes overhauling its business as the country's economy recovers, business weekly Barron's said in its June 24 edition.

The company has suffered for several years as the economy stalled, leading to price wars between trucking companies competing for a falling volume of freight traffic.

Barron's said Con-Way's profit margins had dropped to 2 percent in the first quarter of this year from 9.5 percent in 2006 and that the company's market share has been languishing at 10 percent for years.

"Investors shouldn't despair," Barron's wrote.

"Con-Way is about halfway through a costly, three-year overhaul of its operations that should pay off in improved earnings and a share price that could rise this year as much as 20 percent above last week's $39," the paper said.

The overhaul involves a "lean" approach to the business, created by Japanese carmaker Toyota (7203.T), that saves costs through cutting processes, shifting decision making to the frontline, introducing a new pricing mechanism and a new logistical system.

Analysts have noticed the changes at Con-Way, but Barron's said if the changes are not implemented successfully, heads could roll.

(Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki, editing by G Crosse)

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