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  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.675
    -0.025
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.735
    -0.049
    -2.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.970
    0.028
    3%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.291
    0.011
    0.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.929
    0.009
    1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.020
    0.031
    3.1%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    1.895
    -0.089
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  • DATVF.VEU
    1.477
    -0.014
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.340
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    -0.8%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.131
    0.020
    1.8%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.412
    -0.040
    -2.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,790.820
    -14.260
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    5.630
    0.020
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,798.000
    -17.600
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
    2.650
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    140.000
    -16.000
    -10.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.675
    -0.025
    -1.5%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.735
    -0.049
    -2.7%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.970
    0.028
    3%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.291
    0.011
    0.9%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.929
    0.009
    1%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.020
    0.031
    3.1%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    1.895
    -0.089
    -4.5%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.477
    -0.014
    -0.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.340
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    -0.8%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.131
    0.020
    1.8%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.412
    -0.040
    -2.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,790.820
    -14.260
    -0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    5.630
    0.020
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,798.000
    -17.600
    -0.2%
  • TLT.USA
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  • WAIT.USA
    140.000
    -16.000
    -10.3%
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%


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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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