Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) Expected to Announce Earnings of $2.54 Per Share

Equities analysts predict that Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNPGet Rating) will report earnings per share of $2.54 for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have made estimates for Union Pacific’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $2.59 and the lowest is $2.50. Union Pacific posted earnings of $2.00 per share during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 27%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results before the market opens on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Union Pacific will report full-year earnings of $11.54 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.20 to $11.95. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the company will post earnings of $12.72 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.22 to $13.53. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Union Pacific.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNPGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 20th. The railroad operator reported $2.66 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.60 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $5.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.61 billion. Union Pacific had a net margin of 29.92% and a return on equity of 44.50%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.36 earnings per share.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Royal Bank of Canada lowered Union Pacific from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and cut their target price for the company from $271.00 to $258.00 in a report on Thursday, March 17th. The Goldman Sachs Group lifted their price target on shares of Union Pacific from $252.00 to $261.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 20th. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $245.00 to $287.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 5th. Bank of America lowered shares of Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $258.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Friday, April 8th. Finally, Raymond James lowered their price target on Union Pacific from $290.00 to $285.00 and set a “strong-buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, January 21st. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, Union Pacific presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $265.73.

Shares of NYSE UNP opened at $246.21 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $154.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.74, a PEG ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 1.18. Union Pacific has a 52-week low of $195.68 and a 52-week high of $278.94. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $254.66 and its 200 day simple moving average is $244.36. The company has a quick ratio of 0.51, a current ratio of 0.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31st. Investors of record on Monday, February 28th were given a dividend of $1.18 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 25th. This represents a $4.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.92%. Union Pacific’s dividend payout ratio is 47.44%.

Union Pacific announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 3rd that allows the company to buyback 100,000,000 shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter worth $1,449,526,000. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 6.4% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 45,822,201 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $11,543,985,000 after buying an additional 2,776,330 shares during the period. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main raised its holdings in Union Pacific by 316.9% in the 4th quarter. DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral Genossenschafts Bank Frankfurt am Main now owns 2,965,684 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $740,073,000 after buying an additional 2,254,336 shares during the last quarter. Soroban Capital Partners LP boosted its position in Union Pacific by 48.5% during the 3rd quarter. Soroban Capital Partners LP now owns 5,465,343 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,071,262,000 after buying an additional 1,784,379 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Union Pacific by 23.8% in the 3rd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 5,118,974 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,003,371,000 after acquiring an additional 984,417 shares during the period. 77.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Union Pacific (Get Rating)

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, operates in the railroad business in the United States. The company offers transportation services for grain and grain products, fertilizers, food and refrigerated products, and coal and renewables to grain processors, animal feeders, ethanol producers, and other agricultural users; petroleum, and liquid petroleum gases; and construction products, industrial chemicals, plastics, forest products, specialized products, metals and ores, soda ash, and sand, as well as finished automobiles, automotive parts, and merchandise in intermodal containers.

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