State Treasurer State of Michigan cut its holdings in shares of Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) by 4.3% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 210,912 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 9,400 shares during the quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan’s holdings in Union Pacific were worth $29,154,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Private Ocean LLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Gradient Investments LLC increased its holdings in shares of Union Pacific by 117.1% during the 4th quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 241 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $33,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares in the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $42,000. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Union Pacific by 186.0% during the 4th quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 369 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $51,000 after purchasing an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Union Pacific by 100.0% during the 4th quarter. Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 400 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $55,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. 83.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. TD Securities lifted their target price on shares of Union Pacific from $155.00 to $170.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Union Pacific in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Argus lifted their target price on shares of Union Pacific to $175.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. Loop Capital lifted their target price on shares of Union Pacific from $188.00 to $193.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their target price on shares of Union Pacific from $166.00 to $180.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $169.39.
Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.06 by $0.06. Union Pacific had a net margin of 26.13% and a return on equity of 27.95%. The firm had revenue of $5.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.53 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Union Pacific Co. will post 9.07 EPS for the current year.
Union Pacific announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 7th that authorizes the company to repurchase 150,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 28th will be paid a $0.88 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 27th. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.07%. This is a boost from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Union Pacific’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 40.46%.
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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; 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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