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Earnings Preview for Union Pacific (UNP)

by | Jan 16, 2022

Union Pacific (UNP) reporting earnings on 1/20 before the open with the Street looking for $2.61 on $5.63B in sales, a 9.4% increase Y/Y. Next quarter is guided to $2.47 and $5.49B while the FY is $9.90 and $21.67B, an 11% increase Y/Y. Shares have closed higher the last two but lower the four prior quarters with an average closing move of 3% and a max move of 6.2%. The current implied move is 1.85%. UNP has traded well since late 2021 and pulling in from 52-week highs recently to test just above the rising 55-EMA last week. There’s a rising channel setting up with support around $245 and measures back to $255+ on a return higher. VWAP from the October low is around $237.70 and would act as support on a potential dip. The $159B company trades 21.65X earnings, 7.5X sales, and 42.2X FCF with a 1.92% yield. UNP is coming off of a strong quarter with average revenue per car up 12.5%, far above consensus, which helped offset lighter carloads. They also should continue to post improvement in other specific metrics like train length and velocity which will help them work towards their targeted mid-50s OR. Analysts have an average target for shares of $258 with a Street High $290. Barclays raising estimate to $290 on 1/14 noting that pricing remains key as the supply-driven volume recovery likely pushed out for the North America transportation sector. Citi positive on 1/5 noting that yields should be quite good, offsetting weaker than expected volumes, and could be a source of upside relative to estimates. Looking ahead, the analyst thinks building yield strength and the potential for gradually unwinding congestion will drive better volumes as 2022 progresses. Short interest is 1.35%. Hedge fund ownership fell marginally last quarter.

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