Trade war weighs on railroad operator Union Pacific

Softness in the domestic auto and industrial sectors have also hit freight volumes

(Reuters) - Railroad operator Union Pacific Corp reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, as freight volumes of agricultural products and energy shipments fell.

Continue Reading Below

Last year, the company cut capital spending and jobs, as the U.S.-China trade war worsened the industry-wide slump in freight volumes.

U.S. trade policies and softness in the domestic auto and industrial sectors have also hit freight volumes.

Union Pacific's operating ratio, a measure of operating expenses as a percentage of revenue and a key metric for Wall Street, fell 1.9 points to 59.7% in the fourth-quarter ended Dec. 31, from a year earlier.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UNPUNION PACIFIC CORPORATION181.72-1.68-0.92%

A lower ratio means higher profitability for railroads.

CHINA TRADE DEAL: THESE 4 INDUSTRIES WILL BENEFIT MOST, USDA ADVISER SAYS

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company's net quarterly income fell to $1.40 billion, or $2.02 per share, from $1.55 billion, or $2.12 per share, a year earlier.

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2014, file photo, rail cars are filled with coal and sprayed with a topper agent to suppress dust at Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope Mine north of Douglas, Wyo. The Navajo Nation will not financially back bonds a tribal energy com

Total operating revenue fell 9.5% to $5.21 billion.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Analysts on average expected a quarterly profit of $2.04 per share and revenue of $5.22 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)