Union Pacific Corporation 's UNP third-quarter 2018 earnings of $2.15 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents. The bottom line also expanded 43.3% on a year-over-year basis. Results were aided by higher revenues and a lower tax rate.
Operating revenues came in at $5,928 million, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,877.7 million. The figure also increased 9.6% year over year. Higher freight revenues (up 10%) boosted the top-line performance. The uptick was driven by volume growth to the tune of 6% and increased fuel surcharge revenues among other factors. Bulk of revenues (93.8%) at Union Pacific was derived from freight in the reported quarter.
Operating income in the third quarter rose 9% year over year to $2,269 million. Operating ratio (defined as operating expenses as a percentage of revenues) came in at 61.7%, flat year over year. During the quarter under review, Union Pacific bought back 2.2 million shares. Effective tax rate during the third quarter of 2018 was 23.3%, compared with 39.8% a year-ago.
Union Pacific Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Agricultural Products freight revenues were $1,133 million, up 6% year over year. Revenue carloads increased 2% year over year. Moreover, average revenue per car increased 4%.
Freight revenues at the Energy division were $1,214 million, up 1% year over year. Revenue carloads decreased 2% year over year. Average revenue per car increased 2%.
Industrial freight revenues totalled $1,497 million, up 13% year over year. Revenue carloads increased 9% year over year. Also, average revenue per car was up 3%.
Freight revenues at the Premium division were $1,714 million, up 18% year over year. Revenue carloads increased 9%year over year. Average revenue per car also increased 9%.
Other revenues improved 3% to $370 million in the third quarter of 2018.
Union Pacific, which reportedly intends to trim its workforce to the tune of almost 500 employees before Dec 31, 2018, exited the third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $1,810 million compared with $1,275 million at the end of 2017. Debt (due after one year) came in at $20,943 million at the end of the quarter compared with $16,144 million at the end of 2017. Debt-to- EBITDA ratio (on an adjusted basis) increased to 2.3 from 1.9 at 2017 end.
Investors interested in the broader Transportation Sector are awaiting third-quarter 2018 earnings reports from key players, namely Genesee & Wyoming Inc. GWR , Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. AAWW and C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. CHRW . Genesee & Wyoming and C.H. Robinson will release results on Oct 30. Atlas Air Worldwide will announce the same on Nov 1.
Union Pacific carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
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