Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) Lifted to “Equal Weight” at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research report released on Monday, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has $125.00 target price on the railroad operator’s stock, down from their prior target price of $139.00.

UNP has been the subject of a number of other reports. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their price objective on Union Pacific from $205.00 to $200.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Monday, March 9th. Raymond James increased their price target on Union Pacific from $205.00 to $212.00 and gave the company a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, January 24th. Citigroup upgraded Union Pacific from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Bank of America upgraded Union Pacific from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Union Pacific from a hold rating to a sell rating and set a $192.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, December 30th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $187.24.

Shares of NYSE UNP traded up $9.58 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $142.49. 5,814,704 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,560,126. The company has a quick ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32. The stock has a market cap of $93.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.98, a P/E/G ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.12. Union Pacific has a 1 year low of $105.08 and a 1 year high of $188.96. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $159.07 and a 200 day moving average of $169.54.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.03 by ($0.01). The company had revenue of $5.21 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.24 billion. Union Pacific had a return on equity of 32.86% and a net margin of 27.27%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.12 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Union Pacific will post 8.98 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 31st. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 28th will be issued a $0.97 dividend. This represents a $3.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 27th. Union Pacific’s dividend payout ratio is presently 46.30%.

In other news, CFO Jennifer L. Hamann sold 1,000 shares of the 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 transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 62,331 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,406,573. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Vincenzo J. Vena acquired 3,206 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 28th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $155.92 per share, for a total transaction of $499,879.52. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief operating officer now directly owns 19,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,113,098.72. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 9.96% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Union Pacific by 6.1% during the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 30,839,788 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $5,575,525,000 after acquiring an additional 1,775,306 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in Union Pacific by 3.5% during the fourth quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 13,248,916 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,395,272,000 after acquiring an additional 444,180 shares during the period. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in Union Pacific by 10.2% during the fourth quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 12,271,317 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $2,218,531,000 after acquiring an additional 1,139,795 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Union Pacific by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 9,539,820 shares of the railroad operator’s stock worth $1,721,373,000 after acquiring an additional 134,677 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Union Pacific during the fourth quarter worth about $1,302,925,000. 79.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Union Pacific

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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Analyst Recommendations for Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP)

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