UP Reports $1.3 Billion First-Quarter Net Income

A pair of Union Pacific locomotives idle in Atlanta on June 11, 2011. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

Union Pacific Corporation reported a 2021 first-quarter net income of $1.3 billion, down from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

The railroad’s operating revenue of $5 billion was down 4 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier. Business volumes in the first quarter, as measured by total revenue carloads, decreased 1 percent compared to 2020 driven by declines in industrial and bulk shipments, partially offset by strength in premium carloads.

“The first quarter presented some real challenges that impacted our results, but the team did a great job managing the business,” Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president, and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “We generated solid productivity through efficient use of our resources despite the significant weather event that covered most of our network in February and early March.

“I am particularly proud of the women and men of Union Pacific who rolled up their sleeves and kept the network safe, efficient and stable,” Fritz added. “Looking to the rest of the year, an improving economic outlook, our continued commitment to value based pricing that exceeds inflation and the opportunity for strong productivity give us confidence to affirm our 2021 guidance.”

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