Union Pacific Co. (UNP) Short Interest Down 35.0% in January

Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,106,428 shares, a drop of 35.0% from the January 15th total of 12,469,702 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 5,432,648 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.5 days. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are short sold.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on UNP. Deutsche Bank raised Union Pacific from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 27th. Bank of America cut Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $164.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, October 18th. Scotiabank raised Union Pacific from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $175.00 to $165.00 in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Zacks Investment Research raised Union Pacific from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $169.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities raised Union Pacific from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $169.39.

NYSE:UNP opened at $168.88 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.90. Union Pacific has a fifty-two week low of $125.31 and a fifty-two week high of $169.17. The stock has a market cap of $121.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.10.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.06. Union Pacific had a return on equity of 27.95% and a net margin of 26.13%. The company had revenue of $5.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.53 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Union Pacific will post 9.1 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Union Pacific declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 7th that allows the company to buyback 150,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th will be paid a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 27th. This is a boost from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Union Pacific’s payout ratio is 40.46%.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UNP. Private Ocean LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Gradient Investments LLC lifted its holdings in Union Pacific by 117.1% in the 4th quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 241 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $33,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Union Pacific in the 4th quarter worth approximately $42,000. Essex Investment Management Co. LLC acquired a new stake in Union Pacific in the 4th quarter worth approximately $47,000. Finally, Howe & Rusling Inc. lifted its holdings in Union Pacific by 25.4% in the 4th quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 346 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 70 shares during the last quarter. 83.30% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, operates railroads in the United States. It offers transportation services for agricultural products, including grains, commodities produced from grains, and food and beverage products; automotive, such as finished vehicles and automotive parts; and chemicals comprising industrial chemicals, plastics, fertilizers, petroleum and liquid petroleum gases, crude oil, and soda ash.

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