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Reflective of the improving conditions in the United States, as economic activities gather pace Union Pacific Corporation UNP — one of leading players in the railroad space — announced a 10% hike in its quarterly dividend payout to $1.07 per share (annualized $4.28). The first installment of the increased dividend will be paid out on Jun 30, 2021 to its shareholders as of May 28.
Union Pacific paid out dividends even when the coronavirus-led situation was grimmer in the United States. As a proof of its shareholder-friendly attitude, the company returned $2 billion to its shareholders through dividends ($0.65 billion) and buybacks ($1.4 billion) in first-quarter 2021. Against this backdrop, the fact that this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) railroad operator will announce a raise in dividend when the situation betters, is a small wonder.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Notably, Union Pacific has rewarded its shareholders on its common stock with dividends for 122 consecutive years.
The upped dividend highlights Union Pacific's commitment to create value for its shareholders and underscores the company's strong financial condition as well as its bright prospects.
The improving freight conditions in the United States represent a huge positive for Union Pacific as bulk of its revenues are derived from freight. The betterment in the freight scenario can be gauged from the fact that per the latest Cass Freight Shipments Index report, shipment volumes increased by a record 27.6% on a year-over-year basis. Notably, this record uptick in April was much higher than the 10% year over year rise recorded in March.
Notably, Union Pacific is the second major U.S. based railroad operator to have announced a dividend hike this year. In January, Norfolk Southern Corporation NSC approved a 5% lift in its quarterly dividend to 99 cents per share.
Other notable transportation companies to have cleared a dividend hike this year are Expeditors International of Washington EXPD and J.B. Hunt Transport Services JBHT.
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Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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