Union Pacific profit rises on higher grain, coal shipments

Reuters

* 2nd-qtr revenue up 10 pct at $6.02 bln vs est. $6 bln

* Earnings $1.43/share, in line with estimates

* Agricultural products revenue jumps 19 pct

* Revenue from coal shipments rises 1 pct (Adds CEO comment, details, shares)

July 24 (Reuters) - Union Pacific Corp, the largest publicly traded U.S. railroad, reported a 17 percent rise in quarterly profit, mainly due to higher shipments of agricultural products and coal.

The company, which links 23 states in western United States, said revenue from agricultural products jumped 19 percent in the second quarter, while revenue from coal rose 1 percent.

Coal is Union Pacific's largest cargo in terms of volumes.

"We are optimistic about the second half of the year," Chief Executive Jack Koraleski said in a statement on Thursday.

Union Pacific has benefited from a rise in grain shipments meant for export to Mexico and China.

The company also took advantage of higher demand for thermal coal in the quarter ended June 30, a result of high natural gas prices.

Net income rose to $1.29 billion, or $1.43 per share, in the quarter from $1.11 billion, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 10 percent to $6.02 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.43 per share on revenue of $6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Omaha, Nebraska-based Union Pacific's shares closed at $102.51 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

The stock has gained about 28 percent in the year to Wednesday's close, in line with the S&P Railroads Index .

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)

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