Union Pacific's 2Q profit climbs 17 percent as railroad hauls more freight, increases rates

MarketsAssociated Press

Union Pacific Corp. says its quarterly profit climbed 17 percent as the railroad hauled 8 percent more freight and raised shipping rates.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Thursday that profit increased to $1.29 billion, or $1.43 per share, in the second quarter. That's up from $1.11 billion, or $1.18 per share, a year ago. The analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected profit of $1.42 per share on average.

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Union Pacific's earnings per share were helped by the railroad's purchase of 8.3 million shares of its own stock for $806 million during the quarter.

The railroad said revenue rose 10 percent to $6.02 billion from $5.47 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, and beat Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $5.98 billion, according to Zacks.

Union Pacific shares gained $19.31, or 23 percent, to $102.51 since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 7.5 percent.

Union Pacific operates 32,400 miles of track in 23 states from the Midwest to the West and Gulf coasts.