The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Union Pacific beat slightly on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased significantly, and earnings per share expanded significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
Union Pacific reported revenue of $5.1 billion. The 18 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ looked for sales of $5.1 billion. Sales were 16% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.4 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
EPS came in at $1.99. The 26 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.81 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.99 for Q4 were 28% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.56 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 66.1%, 2,380 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 31.7%, 290 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 18.9%, 130 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.9 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.58.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $21.2 billion. The average EPS estimate is $7.85.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,233 members out of 1,277 rating the stock outperform, and 44 members rating it underperform. Among 366 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 358 give Union Pacific a green thumbs-up, and eight give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Union Pacific is outperform, with an average price target of $115.96.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.