Bad weather and a legal setback will leave Union Pacific's ( UNP) first-quarter earnings short of estimates, the company said Monday.

Union Pacific had previously forecast earnings of 74 cents to 80 cents a share, but now expects to miss the low end of that guidance, thanks in part to a charge of 8 cents a share to cover a $30 million jury verdict related to a 1998 accident. The verdict was recently upheld by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Analysts were forecasting earnings of 79 cents a share on sales of $2.87 billion in the current quarter, according to Thomson One Analytics.

In addition to the legal charge, Union Pacific also cited bad winter weather, high fuel costs and crew shortages in the West for its lowered estimate.

"March revenue is generally the strongest of the quarter and our current business demand remains encouraging," the company said. "We are hopeful that a solid March performance will help us regain some of the momentum we lost earlier in the quarter."

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