Investors Buy Shares of Union Pacific (UNP) on Weakness

Traders bought shares of Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) on weakness during trading on Tuesday. $224.63 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $104.88 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $119.75 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Union Pacific had the 2nd highest net in-flow for the day. Union Pacific traded down ($0.77) for the day and closed at $164.83

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. TD Securities raised their price objective on Union Pacific from $155.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Argus raised their price objective on Union Pacific to $175.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Union Pacific in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Loop Capital raised their price objective on Union Pacific from $188.00 to $193.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $169.39.

The firm has a market capitalization of $119.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.88, a PEG ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.11. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $5.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. Union Pacific had a return on equity of 27.95% and a net margin of 26.13%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.53 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Union Pacific Co. will post 9.07 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th will be issued a dividend of $0.88 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 27th. This is an increase from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.13%. Union Pacific’s payout ratio is presently 44.50%.

Union Pacific declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 7th that authorizes the company to buyback 150,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the railroad operator to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNP. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 18,524.9% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 32,738,808 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $237,000 after purchasing an additional 32,563,028 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Union Pacific in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,036,317,000. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC lifted its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 14,067.9% in the 3rd quarter. Matthew Goff Investment Advisor LLC now owns 5,083,714 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $35,882,000 after purchasing an additional 5,047,832 shares during the period. Capital International Investors lifted its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 1,302.7% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 4,801,143 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $781,770,000 after purchasing an additional 4,458,858 shares during the period. Finally, Jennison Associates LLC lifted its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 450.0% in the 4th quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 5,134,698 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $709,769,000 after purchasing an additional 4,201,086 shares during the period. 78.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP)

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, engages in the railroad business in the United States. It offers transportation services for agricultural products, including grains, commodities produced from grains, fertilizers, and food and beverage products; coal and sand, as well as petroleum, liquid petroleum gases, and renewables; construction products, industrial chemicals, plastics, forest products, specialized products, metals and ores, and soda ash, as well as intermodal and finished vehicles.

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