Union Pacific Earnings Cheat Sheet: Shareholders Book Profits and Slow the Train

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) reported its results for the first quarter. Union Pacific Corporation links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country through its operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company.

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Union Pacific Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) rose to $639 million ($1.29/share) vs. $516 million ($1.01/share) YoY. A rise of 23.8% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 13.2% to $4.49 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: UNP fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $1.31/share. Estimates ranged from $1.24 per share to $1.38 per share.

Quoting Management: “We’ve started off strong in 2011 by achieving record results in the first quarter,” said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer. “We saw volume growth in all commodities and effectively leveraged that growth by running a safe and efficient network despite spiking fuel prices and winter weather challenges across most of the nation’s rail network. These efforts produced a best-ever first quarter operating ratio and record cash from operations.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 18.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 26.6% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 40.7% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 50.5%.

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

Today’s Performance: Shares of UNP (NYSE:UNP) are trading at $95.16 as of April 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM ET, down 2% from the previous closing price of $97.32.

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