Union Pacific Corp Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (UNP)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • UNION PACIFIC CORP has improved earnings per share by 32.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNION PACIFIC CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.72 versus $5.53 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($8.33 versus $6.72).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Road & Rail industry average. The net income increased by 27.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $785.00 million to $1,002.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 41.30% is the gross profit margin for UNION PACIFIC CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 19.20% trails the industry average.

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, provides rail transportation services in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, equal to the average transportation industry P/E ratioand below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Union Pacific has a market cap of $57.78 billion and is part of the services sector and transportation industry. Shares are up 15.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Union Pacific Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.
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