OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific Corp. said Thursday that its quarterly profit climbed 17 percent as the railroad hauled 8 percent more freight and raised shipping rates.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said it hauled more agricultural, automotive, intermodal, industrial and coal shipments. The only area where volume slipped was in chemicals, which dipped 1 percent because crude oil shipments declined.
Union Pacific Chief Executive Jack Koraleski said those shipments show the economy is continuing to gradually improve, making railroad executives optimistic about the rest of the year.
"The fundamentals of the economy are positive and they continue a nice, slow-growth trajectory," Koraleski said.
The railroad operator said 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.
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.
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