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Union Pacific Misses on First-Quarter Results, Affirms 2021 Guidance

Union Pacific misses on first-quarter results, but reaffirms its full-year guidance.

Union Pacific  (UNP) - Get Union Pacific Corporation Report fell short of Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations Thursday as the railroad giant felt the impact of extreme weather and rising fuel prices, but also affirmed its full-year guidance.

Shares on the Omaha, Neb. company were down 1.3% to $220.45 in early trading Thursday.

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Union Pacific reported first-quarter net income of $1.3 billion or $2 per share, compared with net income of $1.5 billion, or $2.15 share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting the company to earn $2.06 per share.

Revenue totaled $5 billion, down 4% from a year ago. The FactSet consensus called for revenue of $5.2 billion.

"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," Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement.

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Fritz added that "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."

In February, a crippling winter storm and deep freeze hit Texas and other states, causing widespread power outages. Union Pacific said that its 60.1% operating ratio increased 110 basis points due to the severe weather and rising fuel prices in the quarter.

In January, Union Pacific posted fourth-quarter results that topped analyst estimates.

Meanwhile, in other railroad news, Canadian National  (CNI) - Get Canadian National Railway Company Report on Tuesday offered $30 billion for Kansas City Southern  (KSU) - Get Kansas City Southern (KSU) Report, muscling in on rival Canadian Pacific Railway's  (CP) - Get Canadian Pacific Railway Limited Report earlier offer. 

In response, Canadian Pacific argued on Wednesday that the $30 billion takeover would stifle competition and raise freight prices.

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