Union Pacific Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Union Pacific Corp (NYSE:UNP) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. Union Pacific links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States through its operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company.

Union Pacific Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.80 per share, a rise of 15.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $1.78. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from $1.79 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $6.54 per share, a rise of 18.3% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting profit of $1.85 per share, and the previous quarter, it had net income of $1.59.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 14.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $5.04 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 20 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 16.2% to $904 million ($1.85 a share) from $778 million ($1.56 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 15.7% to $5.1 billion from $4.41 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 15.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 17.5% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 10.4% in the second quarter and 23.8% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU), CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE:NSC), Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNI), Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE:CP), Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR), Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. (NASDAQ:PWX), Pioneer Railcorp (PRRR), and RailAmerica, Inc. (NYSE:RA).

Stock Price Performance: During October 18, 2011 to January 13, 2012, the stock price had risen $17.91 (19.5%) from $91.82 to $109.73. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 21, 2011 and May 3, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 8.1% (+$7.65) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 4, 2011 and April 11, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 3.3% (-$3.21) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com