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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific's Q2 net income soars 19 percent


Union Pacific Railroad reported second-quarter net income jumped 19 percent to nearly $1.2 billion, or a Q2 record of $1.45 per share, from $979 million, or $1.17 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Total operating revenue for the quarter climbed 10 percent to $5.25 billion from $4.77 billion, while freight revenue increased 11 percent to $4.9 billion from $4.4 billion a year ago, the Class I announced today in a press release.

Second-quarter operating income totaled $2 billion, a 21 percent increase over operating income in the same period a year ago.

"I am pleased with our results through the first six months, and look forward to continuing our momentum through the remainder of the year," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz. "Guided by our strategic value tracks, our entire team is focused on providing an excellent customer experience while safely and efficiently delivering on our innovative productivity initiatives."

Total revenue carloads climbed 5 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago. Volume increases in coal, industrial products, agricultural products and intermodal more than offset declines in chemicals and automotive carloads.

The increase in freight revenue was driven by volume growth, increased fuel surcharge revenue, core pricing gains and a "positive" mix of traffic, UP officials said.

Specifically, revenue from intermodal rose 3 percent. From chemicals, revenue was up 4 percent; automotive, up 5 percent; agricultural products, up 7 percent; industrial products, up 24 percent; and coal, up 25 percent.

The Class I's operating ratio improved 3.4 points to 61.8 percent for the quarter compared to the operating ratio a year ago. Higher fuel prices positively affected the operating ratio by a half of a point.

Absolute business volumes should be stronger in 2017's second half than in the first half, although year-over-year comparisons will be more challenging, Fritz said.

"In this environment we will focus on our growth opportunities. In addition, we will continue to make progress on our G55 + 0 initiatives as we work to make Union Pacific a stronger, more efficient company," he said. "We are confident these efforts will generate top-line growth, margin improvement and greater returns for our shareholders."

Editor’s note: UP began its G55 + 0  initiative in fall 2015. Through the initiative, the Class I aims to achieve a 55 percent operating ratio over time with a goal of zero injuries.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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