Union Pacific CEO Jack Koraleski said in a statement Thursday that the railroad's diverse portfolio helped the company's profit rise 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 despite challenging coal and grain markets.

The Omaha-based railroad reported a net income of $1.04 billion, up 7 percent from $964 million this time last year. Earnings per share were up 10 percent, from $1.99 to $2.19.

For the year, the company's net income increased 20 percent, from $3.29 billion to $3.94 billion. Earnings per share were up 23 percent for the year, from $6.72 to $8.27.

“Although it was a challenging year on many fronts,” Koraleski said in the statement, “2012 was Union Pacific's most profitable year in our 150-year history.

“It's a testament to the strength and diversity of our franchise, the dedication and commitment of our employees, and our unrelenting focus on creating value for our customers.”

Koraleski didn't speak during the company's call with investors this (Thursday) morning. Company officials announced he was ill and at home.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1192, emily.nohr@owh.com

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