Union Pacific Corp. reported higher quarterly profits and revenues on increased volumes in all commodities it ships, but missed earnings forecasts, sending shares lower.
The No. 1 U.S. railroad said Wednesday first-quarter net income rose to $639 million, or $1.29 per share, from $516 million, or $1.01 per share a year earlier, but missed the consensus forecast by two cents.
Analysts, on average, expected the Omaha, Nebraska-based company to report a profit of $1.31 per share. according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Operating revenue gained 13 percent to $4.5 billion, topping the average estimate of $4.41 billion.
Volume growth, core pricing gains and increased fuel cost recovery bolstered earnings, the company said, noting that the 33 percent average diesel fuel price spike was the third-highest on record.
"The economy is showing signs of continued, gradual improvement, and we're optimistic about the growth opportunities ahead," Chief Executive Jim Young said in a statement.
Volumes measured by total revenue carloads grew 5 percent in the quarter from the same period last year, despite harsh winter storms and fuel costs, driven by chemical and industrial products, the company said.
Union Pacific shares were trading at $94.74 in early afternoon trading, down about 2.6 percent. The shares are up 3 percent year to date, in line with the Dow Jones Transportation Average.
The company said that, as of April 1, it was authorized to repurchase up to 40 million shares of its stock, and had bought back 2.6 million in the first quarter at an average price of $94.10.
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