Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $121.00 price objective on the railroad operator’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Union Pacific outperformed the broader industry in the last three months. Ushering in further good news, Union Pacific reported better-than-expected earnings per share in the final quarter of 2016. The bottom-line growth was aided by lower costs. Operating ratio (operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) came in at 62% in the quarter compared with 63.2% a year ago. Though revenues marginally beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, the top line declined on a year-over-year basis. Declining coal shipments weighed on the company's results yet again. Coal revenues (freight) decreased 6% and volumes declined 9% year over year. Nonetheless, we are impressed by the company's efforts to reward investors through share buybacks and dividend payments. During the fourth quarter, the company bought back $9.6 million shares for $940 million.”
Several other brokerages also recently commented on UNP. RBC Capital Markets upped their target price on shares of Union Pacific Corporation from $111.00 to $115.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research note on Friday, January 20th. Royal Bank Of Canada upped their price target on shares of Union Pacific Corporation from $111.00 to $115.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a report on Friday, January 20th. Loop Capital reiterated a hold rating and issued a $96.00 price target on shares of Union Pacific Corporation in a report on Sunday, October 23rd. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of Union Pacific Corporation in a report on Monday, October 24th. They issued a buy rating and a $100.00 price target for the company. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $110.00 price target on shares of Union Pacific Corporation in a report on Sunday, October 23rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Union Pacific Corporation currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $101.55.
Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) traded up 0.92% on Tuesday, hitting $109.72. 1,251,513 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average of $104.56 and a 200 day moving average of $97.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $89.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.64 and a beta of 0.73. Union Pacific Corporation has a one year low of $68.72 and a one year high of $110.08.
Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 19th. The railroad operator reported $1.39 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.33 by $0.06. Union Pacific Corporation had a net margin of 21.23% and a return on equity of 20.88%. The firm earned $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.09 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.31 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Union Pacific Corporation will post $5.62 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 30th were given a dividend of $0.605 per share. This represents a $2.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.23%. This is a positive change from Union Pacific Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. The ex-dividend date was Monday, November 28th. Union Pacific Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 47.64%.
In related news, EVP Eric L. Butler sold 23,198 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.94, for a total transaction of $2,434,398.12. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 232,538 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,402,537.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Michael W. Mcconnell sold 7,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.15, for a total transaction of $778,110.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 26,410 shares in the company, valued at $2,777,011.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 40,838 shares of company stock worth $4,237,385. 0.14% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in Union Pacific Corporation during the third quarter worth approximately $324,377,000. Dodge & Cox raised its position in Union Pacific Corporation by 24.0% in the second quarter. Dodge & Cox now owns 15,188,949 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,325,236,000 after buying an additional 2,936,275 shares in the last quarter. Third Point LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific Corporation during the second quarter worth approximately $117,788,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Union Pacific Corporation by 48.1% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,785,810 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $330,312,000 after buying an additional 1,229,301 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new position in Union Pacific Corporation during the fourth quarter worth approximately $119,216,000. 78.54% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About Union Pacific Corporation
Union Pacific Corporation operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company. Union Pacific Railroad Company links approximately 20 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing link in the supply chain. The Company’s business mix includes agricultural products, automotive, chemicals, coal, industrial products and intermodal.
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