Union Pacific Reports Third Quarter Earnings

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Corp. reported 2009 third quarter net income of $517 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, compared to $703 million, or $1.38 per diluted share in the third quarter 2008.

“Union Pacific’s third quarter results were clearly affected by the global recession and related decline in our rail traffic,” said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer. “In the face of that challenge, the Union Pacific team achieved a record third quarter operating ratio, as well as record customer satisfaction levels, by concentrating on our business fundamentals of safety, service, value and productivity.”

Third Quarter Summary

All six of Union Pacific’s business groups continue to be impacted by the slowdown in the global economy. Third quarter 2009 operating revenues totaled $3.7 billion versus $4.8 billion in the third quarter 2008. In addition:

  • Business volumes, as measured by total revenue carloads, were down 15 percent versus the third quarter 2008. Reflecting lower volumes, year-over-year freight revenues declined 25 percent to $3.5 billion in the third quarter 2009. Lower fuel surcharge revenue in the third quarter, down $590 million year-over-year, contributed substantially to the decline.
  • Quarterly diesel fuel prices decreased 49 percent from an average of $3.70 per gallon in the third quarter 2008 to an average of $1.87 per gallon.
  • Union Pacific’s operating ratio improved 1.2 points to a third quarter record 73.7 percent, primarily due to ongoing efficiency initiatives, pricing gains and lower diesel fuel prices.
  • The Company’s Customer Satisfaction Index improved 5 points to 88, a quarterly best.
  • Quarterly train speed, as reported to the Association of American Railroads, was 27.4 mph, up 3.7 mph or 16 percent versus the third quarter 2008. This improvement reflected productivity and operational improvements as well as lower volumes.

“As we enter the final quarter of 2009, business volumes seem to have stabilized, but at very low levels for Union Pacific,” Young said. “In this weak economic environment, we remain committed to maintaining a strong balance sheet and a solid cash position. Operationally, we are dedicated to leveraging the competitive advantages of our network as a safe, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly freight transportation provider, to attract new business, increase productivity and offer excellent customer service.”