• ITVI.USA
    15,605.240
    -1.200
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.180
    0.400
    1.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,606.030
    0.730
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.390
    -0.060
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.840
    -0.080
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.510
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.290
    0.080
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.980
    -0.060
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.900
    0.100
    2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    124.000
    -3.000
    -2.4%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,605.240
    -1.200
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    23.180
    0.400
    1.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,606.030
    0.730
    0%
  • TLT.USA
    2.790
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.390
    -0.060
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.840
    -0.080
    -2.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.510
    -0.070
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.290
    0.080
    2.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.980
    -0.060
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.900
    0.100
    2.6%
  • WAIT.USA
    124.000
    -3.000
    -2.4%
Company earningsNewsRail

Union Pacific fourth-quarter net profit slips 10%

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP)’s fourth-quarter net profit dipped 10% amid a drop in operating revenue.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2019 totaled $1.44 billion, or $2.02/diluted share, compared with $1.55 billion, or $2.12/diluted share. Operating revenue in the fourth quarter was $5.2 billion, a 9% drop from the same period in 2018. 

A chart showing the financial results of the fourth quarter of 2019.
Source: Union Pacific

Fourth-quarter operating revenue slipped amid fewer shipments of agricultural, premium (including intermodal) and energy products, although industrial volumes were flat, Union Pacific (UP) said Thursday. Freight revenue dipped 10% to $4.89 billion amid lower volumes and a decreased fuel surcharge revenue.

Although revenue was down, operating expenses also fell in the fourth quarter. Operating expenses totaled $3.11 billion, a 12% decline from the fourth quarter of 2018.

Source: Union Pacific

The dip in operating expenses contributed to UP reaching an operating ratio of less than 60% in the third consecutive quarter. Fourth-quarter operating ratio was 59.7%, compared with 61.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Operating ratio — a measure of a company’s financial health — can be calculated by dividing operating expenses by revenue.

Service metrics also improved in the fourth quarter, with freight car velocity up 5% to 220 daily miles/car, train speed up 1% to 26.2 miles per hour and terminal dwell down 13% to 23.3 hours. Terminal dwell is the amount of time a train stays at a terminal. 

Source: Union Pacific

Rail2019 Value2018 ValueY/Y Gross ChangeY/Y % Change
Freight revenue (in millions)$4,851.0$5,387.0($536.0)-9.9%
Carloads (000s)1,9932,242-249-11.1%
Revenue per carload$2,435$2,403$321.3%
Gross ton miles (in millions)200,801.0230,537.0-29,736-12.9%
Revenue per ton mile (in millions)$99,932$115,608-$15,676-13.6%
Employee counts3456341696-7,133-17.1%
Train velocity (mph)26.22600.8%
Dwell time (hours)23.326.9-4-13.4%
OR%59.7%61.6%-1.9%-3.1%
EPS$2.02$2.12-$0.10-4.7%


Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.

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