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Union Pacific ends 2016 with drop in net profit

OMAHA, Nebraska: January 19, 2017. Union Pacific Railroad has reported a two percent increase in Q4 net profit of US$1.14 billion on a one percent drop in revenue of US$5.16 billion year-on-year.

The company ended 2016 with an 11 percent drop in net profit of US$4.23 billion compared to the previous 12 months on revenue of US$19.94 billion, a decline of 9.0 percent for the comparable period.

Union Pacific Chicago 2"While full-year volumes were down substantially year over year, we did see declines moderate in the fourth quarter," commented Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO Lance Fritz.

Fourth quarter volumes measured by total revenue carloads declined three percent compared to 2015. While shipments of agricultural products grew eight percent, the company experienced declines in its Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal businesses during the period.

The railroad's capital program last year totaled just under US$3.5 billion, a decrease of approximately US$800 million compared to 2015, and the company repurchased 35.1 million shares at a cost of US$3.1 billion.

"Looking to 2017, we are fairly optimistic about some of the macro-economic indicators that drive our core business. Higher energy prices, favorable agricultural markets and improving business and consumer confidence all support a return to positive volume growth this year," Fritz said.

"We continue to have confidence in the strength and diversity of the Union Pacific franchise, which will position us well to safely and efficiently leverage stronger volumes as our markets begin to rebound," he added.

Union Pacific connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the U.S. by rail; operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways; connects with Canada's rail systems; and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

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