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Union Pacific Fourth-Quarter Net Profit Slips 10%


Jan. 23, 2020

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.
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.
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.
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