Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) Sees Large Decrease in Short Interest

Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNPGet Rating) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 6,780,000 shares, a decrease of 17.1% from the March 31st total of 8,180,000 shares. Approximately 1.1% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 3,760,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days.

NYSE UNP opened at $232.10 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58. Union Pacific has a 12-month low of $195.68 and a 12-month high of $278.94. The company has a market capitalization of $145.76 billion, a PE ratio of 22.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.21. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $252.63 and its 200-day moving average is $246.85.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNPGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 21st. The railroad operator reported $2.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.56 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $5.86 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.76 billion. Union Pacific had a net margin of 30.06% and a return on equity of 50.20%. The firm’s revenue was up 17.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.00 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Union Pacific will post 11.64 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 31st. Investors of record on Monday, February 28th were issued a dividend of $1.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 25th. This represents a $4.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.03%. Union Pacific’s payout ratio is 44.87%.

Union Pacific declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Thursday, February 3rd that permits the company to buyback 100,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the railroad operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

UNP has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Raymond James lifted their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $280.00 to $285.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 22nd. TD Securities lifted their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $265.00 to $275.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, April 22nd. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $260.00 to $280.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 14th. The Goldman Sachs Group lifted their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $271.00 to $276.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Union Pacific from $267.00 to $276.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, April 8th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $267.74.

In other news, EVP Kenyatta G. Rocker sold 4,018 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $250.00, for a total value of $1,004,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 41,177 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,294,250. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.28% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. West Branch Capital LLC boosted its position in Union Pacific by 0.7% during the fourth quarter. West Branch Capital LLC now owns 5,527 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,392,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares during the period. Waddell & Associates LLC boosted its position in Union Pacific by 2.2% during the fourth quarter. Waddell & Associates LLC now owns 1,915 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $482,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares during the period. Ford Financial Group LLC boosted its position in Union Pacific by 2.5% during the first quarter. Ford Financial Group LLC now owns 1,704 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $465,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares during the period. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Union Pacific by 0.5% during the first quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,007 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,188,000 after purchasing an additional 41 shares during the period. Finally, Intellectus Partners LLC boosted its position in Union Pacific by 1.1% during the third quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 3,838 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $752,000 after purchasing an additional 42 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.26% of the company’s stock.

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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