United Pacific Corporation’s UNP second-quarter 2019 earnings of $2.22 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents. The bottom line also increased 12.1% on a year-over-year basis primarily due to lower costs. This outperformance on the earnings front seems to have found favor with investors. As a result, the stock gained in pre-market trading.
Operating revenues came in at $5,596 million, which edged past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,576.7 million. The figure, however, decreased 1.3% year over year due to sluggish freight revenues (down 2%). The year over year decline was due to a 4% reduction in business volumes, measured by total revenue carloads. Notably, bulk of revenues (93.6%) at Union Pacific was derived from freight in the reported quarter.
Operating income in the second quarter increased 8% year over year to $2.3 billion. Operating expenses declined 7% to $3.3 billion. Operating ratio (defined as operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) improved to 59.6% from 63% a year-ago driven by this railroad operator’s efforts to control costs. Notably, lower the value of the metric the better.
Moreover, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company bought back 3.7 million shares during the quarter for $639 million. Effective tax rate during the second quarter of 2019 came in at 23.7% compared with 22.1% a year ago.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Union Pacific Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Union Pacific Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Union Pacific Corporation Quote
Freight revenues in the Agricultural Products were $1,155 million, up 4% year over year. Revenue carloads came in flat year over year. However, average revenue per car increased 4%.
Freight revenues in the Energy division were $966 million, down 13% year over year. Also, revenue carloads fell 9% year over year. Moreover, average revenue per car decreased 4% year over year.
Industrial freight revenues totaled $1,494 million, up 4% year over year. Revenue carloads increased 2% year over year. Also, average revenue per car was up 2%.
Freight revenues in the Premium division were $1,621 million, down 2% year over year. Revenue carloads decreased 5% year over year. Average revenue per car increased 4% year over year.
Other revenues inched up 1% to $360 million in the second quarter of 2019.
The company exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,049 million compared with $1,273 million at the end of 2018. Debt (due after one year) came in at $22,955 million at the end of the quarter compared with $20,925 million at the end of 2018. Debt-to-EBITDA ratio (on an adjusted basis) increased to 2.5 from 2.3 at 2018-end.
Investors interested in the broader Transportation sector are keenly awaiting second-quarter 2019 earnings reports from key players like Kansas City Southern KSU , Norfolk Southern Corp. NSC and United Parcel Service UPS . While Kansas City Southern will report second-quarter earnings on Jul 19, Norfolk Southern and UPS will announce the same on Jul 24.
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