Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) by 3.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 8,284,737 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after buying an additional 270,547 shares during the quarter. Northern Trust Corp’s holdings in Union Pacific were worth $1,145,199,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in UNP. Burney Co. lifted its position in shares of Union Pacific by 25.7% in the 4th quarter. Burney Co. now owns 38,236 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $5,285,000 after acquiring an additional 7,816 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its position in shares of Union Pacific by 9.9% in the 4th quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 35,902 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $4,963,000 after acquiring an additional 3,245 shares during the period. Providence First Trust Co lifted its position in shares of Union Pacific by 8.5% in the 4th quarter. Providence First Trust Co now owns 19,812 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,739,000 after acquiring an additional 1,552 shares during the period. Sapphire Star Partners LP lifted its position in shares of Union Pacific by 11.5% in the 4th quarter. Sapphire Star Partners LP now owns 17,417 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,407,000 after acquiring an additional 1,800 shares during the period. Finally, Marvin & Palmer Associates Inc. lifted its position in shares of Union Pacific by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Marvin & Palmer Associates Inc. now owns 31,196 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $4,312,000 after acquiring an additional 731 shares during the period. 79.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
UNP has been the subject of a number of research reports. Cowen reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Union Pacific in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. ValuEngine upgraded Union Pacific from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Deutsche Bank upgraded Union Pacific from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, November 27th. Seaport Global Securities upgraded Union Pacific from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Union Pacific from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $168.78.
Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.06. Union Pacific had a return on equity of 27.95% and a net margin of 26.13%. The firm had revenue of $5.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.53 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Union Pacific Co. will post 9.05 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th will be given a $0.88 dividend. This is an increase from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 27th. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.19%. Union Pacific’s payout ratio is presently 44.50%.
Union Pacific announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 7th that permits the company to repurchase 150,000,000 shares. This repurchase authorization permits the railroad operator to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
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About Union Pacific
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; and 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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