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American ShipperIntermodalShippingTrade and Compliance

Union Pacific ups Q3 earnings despite Harvey disruption

The Class I railway recorded a net income of $1.2 billion for the quarter, up 6 percent year-over-year, amid a 5 percent boost in operating revenues that came despite a 1 percent drop in volumes.

   Union Pacific recorded a net income of $1.2 billion for the third quarter of 2017, a 6 percent increase from the third quarter of 2016, despite facing headwinds from Hurricane Harvey, according to the company’s most recent financial statements.
   The Omaha, Neb.-based Class I railway’s earnings per share of $1.50 for the quarter surpassed the Zacks estimate of $1.49 per share, and increased sharply from the $1.36 per share a year prior.
   Operating revenues totaled $5.4 billion for the quarter, up 5 percent from the third quarter of 2016.
   However, volumes for the quarter slipped 1 percent year-over-year. Volumes increases in industrial products were more than offset by declines in agricultural products, automotive, chemicals and coal, while intermodal volumes remained flat.
   Looking ahead at the volumes outlook for the remainder of 2017, Beth Whited, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Union Pacific, said during the earnings conference call, “We anticipate continued progress in our food and refrigerated, plastics, fertilizer and sand markets. Over the road conversions in both automotive and intermodal will also continue to present opportunities for growth.”
   In addition to Union Pacific, the majority of Class I railways reported year-over-year increases in net income for the quarter. Net income at Norfolk Southern totaled $506 million, up 10 percent year-over-year, while net income at Canadian Pacific stood at C$510 million (U.S. $408 million), up 47 percent.
   Despite CSX’s customers complaining of delays and congestion, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Class I railway recorded net earnings of $459 million for the quarter, up 1 percent year-over-year. However, net income at CN slipped 1 percent year-over-year during the quarter to C$958 million (U.S. $750 million).

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