Dean Seal of The Wall Street Journal reports that Union Pacific railroad beat expectations on earnings but signaled dimming strength in industrial, intermodal businesses. He writes:
Union Pacific’s profit fell 19% in the third quarter to $1.5 billion, beating expectations, while the company reported declining freight rail volumes and revenue across key industrial commodities.
Earnings slid to $2.51 a share from $3.05 a share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting $2.41 a share.
Overall quarterly revenue at $5.94 billion was down 10% from $6.57 billion last year and below FactSet’s consensus forecast of $5.96 billion.
The Omaha, Neb.-based freight railroad, a bellwether of the industrial economy, saw revenues fall back from the third quarter of 2022 in industrial commodities, including coal, metals, industrial chemicals and energy products. Carloads of forest products fell 13%, a likely result of the weak U.S. housing market. […]
Separately, freight railroad CSX’s profit sank in the third quarter on lower volumes. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based carrier posted a profit of $846 million, or 42 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared with $1.11 billion, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet expected per-share earnings of 43 cents.
Revenue fell 8% to $3.57 billion, beating the $3.55 billion expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
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