Union Pacific shares gain as no surprises boost investor confidence By Investing.com

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Union Pacific (NYSE:) shares jumped Thursday after the company reported earnings for its latest quarter before the open, topping earnings expectations.

The company Q3 EPS of $2.51, $0.05 better than the analyst estimate of $2.46. However, revenue for the quarter came in at $5.9 billion, below the consensus estimate of $5.99 billion.

UNO said it faced various challenges in the quarter, including continued inflationary pressures and a drop in carloads. “Operationally, we gained momentum through the quarter, which positions us to provide our customers with great service. Operating and safety metrics are showing solid improvement as we increase asset utilization,” said Jim Vena, Union Pacific’s Chief Executive Officer.

UNP shares are currently trading above the $213 mark, up 2.5%.

Reacting to the report, analysts at Stifel said Hold rated Union Pacific’s earnings were slightly above what they had expected despite revenue and an operating ratio each a touch worse.

“The outperformance was driven by lower income tax expense, so a low-quality beat, but a beat nonetheless,” the analysts wrote. “Expectations going into the quarter were very low given known volume softness, cost inflation, and fuel surcharge headwinds. The low expectations were reflected in share price, so with results even marginally better than expected, we believe the shares trade higher on a ‘rip the Band-Aid off’ moment.”

Analysts at Deutsche Bank said it was a good thing that there were no surprises in the earnings release, with Hold-rated UNP reporting earnings that were “exactly what was expected.”

“The company did about what you would expect given all the headwinds in the quarter,” said the analysts.

“The bottom line is 3Q results were pretty much exactly in line with recently-lowered expectations, and there are positive things happening on the leading edge with respect to volumes to argue for sequentially better results,” they added.

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