Union Pacific Corp Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Union Pacific Corp (NYSE:UNP) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2011. 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 net income of $1.81 per share, a rise of 16% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.84. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $1.82 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 17.2% versus last year to $6.48.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported profit of $1.59 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.58 per share. In the first quarter, it missed forecasts by 2 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 13.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $5.01 billion.

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

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 10.4% to $785 million ($1.59 a share) from $711 million ($1.40 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 16.2% to $4.86 billion from $4.18 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 16.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 20.1% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 23.8% in the first quarter and 40.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

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 July 21, 2011 to October 14, 2011, the stock price had fallen $11.88 (-11.4%) from $103.85 to $91.97. 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% (+$7.70) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between January 13, 2011 and January 25, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 6.1% (-$5.92) over that span. Shares are up 61 cents (+0.7%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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