Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) Upgraded to “Equal Weight” by Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. They currently have $125.00 price target on the railroad operator’s stock, down from their previous price target of $139.00.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on UNP. Argus lifted their price objective on Union Pacific from $190.00 to $205.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, January 24th. Ardour Capital raised Union Pacific from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut Union Pacific from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $192.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, December 30th. TD Securities lifted their price objective on Union Pacific from $185.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, January 24th. Finally, Bank of America raised Union Pacific from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $187.24.

Shares of NYSE UNP traded up $9.58 during trading on Monday, reaching $142.49. The stock had a trading volume of 5,814,704 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,560,126. Union Pacific has a fifty-two week low of $105.08 and a fifty-two week high of $188.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32, a quick ratio of 0.62 and a current ratio of 0.79. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $159.07 and its 200-day moving average price is $169.54. The company has a market cap of $93.67 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.98, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.12.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 23rd. The railroad operator reported $2.02 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.03 by ($0.01). Union Pacific had a net margin of 27.27% and a return on equity of 32.86%. The firm had revenue of $5.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $2.12 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Union Pacific will post 8.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 31st. Investors of record on Friday, February 28th will be paid a dividend of $0.97 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 27th. This represents a $3.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.72%. Union Pacific’s payout ratio is 46.30%.

In other Union Pacific news, COO Vincenzo J. Vena purchased 3,206 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 28th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $155.92 per share, with a total value of $499,879.52. Following the acquisition, the chief operating officer now directly owns 19,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,113,098.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Jennifer L. Hamann sold 1,000 shares of Union Pacific stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $183.00, for a total value of $183,000.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 62,331 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,406,573. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 9.96% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in UNP. Hi Line Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter worth approximately $5,622,000. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its position in Union Pacific by 18.7% during the 4th quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 111,370 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $20,135,000 after purchasing an additional 17,565 shares during the period. Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Co acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $15,388,000. PointState Capital LP increased its position in Union Pacific by 22.4% during the 3rd quarter. PointState Capital LP now owns 800,474 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $129,661,000 after purchasing an additional 146,312 shares during the period. Finally, Fernwood Investment Management LLC increased its position in Union Pacific by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC now owns 16,317 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,950,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares during the period. 79.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Union Pacific Company Profile

Union Pacific Corporation, through its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad Company, engages in the railroad business in the United States. It offers transportation services for agricultural products, including grains, commodities produced from grains, fertilizers, and food and beverage products; coal and sand, as well as petroleum, liquid petroleum gases, and renewables; and construction products, industrial chemicals, plastics, forest products, specialized products, metals and ores, and soda ash, as well as intermodal and finished vehicles.

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