OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific’s first-quarter profit improved 6%, but the railroad expects shipping volume to plummet 25% in the second quarter because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The railroad said Thursday it earned $1.47 billion, or $2.15 per share, in the first quarter. That’s up from $1.39 billion, or $1.93 per share, a year ago.
The results topped Wall Street expectations. The seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of $1.86 per share, on average.
The railroad’s revenue declined 3% to $5.23 billion. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.11 billion.
Union Pacific said the number of carloads of freight it delivered in the first quarter fell 7%, but the volume has declined sharply since then as automakers closed their plants and other manufacturers slowed production because of the virus outbreak.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based company operates 32,400 miles of track in 23 Western states.
Union Pacific Corp. shares have fallen 19% since the beginning of the year, while the S&P 500 index has dropped 13%. The stock has decreased 17% in the last 12 months.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on UNP at https://www.zacks.com/ap/UNP
Josh Funk, The Associated Press