8. Union Pacific ( UNP) Company Profile: Union Pacific operates a railroad franchise that covers 23 states in the western U.S., extending as far east as Chicago and New Orleans. Sector Representation: Industrials Share Price: $105.30 (Dec. 5) Potential Upside: 12.1% based on a price target of $118 Investment Thesis: Analyst Ken Hoexter says that Union Pacific comes up under the firm's screens for yield and high quality. Specifically, he highlights Union Pacific as a solid investment opportunity in a slow-growth environment. "We continue to believe the rail group will improve service metrics and raise core rates," Hoexter writes. "Union Pacific has improved its operating ratio from the mid-80s to 70% most recently, which has led to sustained upper-teens earnings growth. Ongoing benefits look to be derived as it moves to reprice the approximately 12% of its business that has not re-priced since 2004."