Despite continued weak coal and grain markets, Union Pacific posted a record first quarter, the Omaha-based railroad said Thursday.
The company’s first quarter profit was $957 million, or $2.03 per diluted share, up 11 percent from $863 million, or $1.79 per diluted share, this time last year.
“Union Pacific achieved record first quarter financial results, leveraging the strengths of our diverse franchise despite significantly weaker coal and grain markets,” said CEO Jack Koraleski. “We efficiently managed our operations in the face of dynamic volume shifts across the network, as evidenced by our record first quarter operating ratio and customer satisfaction results.”
Overall business volume was down 2 percent, with coal down 6 percent and agricultural down 9 percent. Those declines were offset by chemicals up 14 percent, automotive up 13 percent, intermodal up 9 percent and industrial products up 6 percent.
Operating revenue in the first quarter was $5.3 billion, a 3 percent increase from $5.2 billion compared to the first quarter of 2012. The company’s consumer satisfaction index was 94, up 1 percent from this time last year. That index is also a first quarter record for the railroad.
Looking ahead, Koraleski said there’s still “much uncertainty” about 2013, but the railroad’s diverse franchise supports a continued focus on profitable growth and business development opportunities.
“We’re committed to providing safe, efficient and reliable service to drive greater customer value and increased shareholder returns in the future,” he said.
Contact the writer: