Magellan Asset Management Ltd boosted its position in Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) by 164.9% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 871,583 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after buying an additional 542,585 shares during the period. Union Pacific makes up approximately 0.4% of Magellan Asset Management Ltd’s portfolio, making the stock its 25th biggest position. Magellan Asset Management Ltd owned approximately 0.12% of Union Pacific worth $120,479,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Private Ocean LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Gradient Investments LLC boosted its stake in 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 during the last quarter. Tributary Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at about $42,000. Clarfeld Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at about $42,000. Finally, Essex Investment Management Co. LLC acquired a new position in Union Pacific during the 4th quarter valued at about $47,000. 79.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, VP Todd M. Rynaski sold 8,802 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.00, for a total value of $1,496,340.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 19,731 shares in the company, valued at $3,354,270. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert M. Knight, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.01, for a total value of $1,700,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 94,943 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,141,259.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.20% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 24th. The railroad operator reported $2.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the 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 business had revenue of $5.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.53 earnings per share. Union Pacific’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Union Pacific Co. will post 8.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Union Pacific declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 7th that permits the company to repurchase 150,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the railroad operator to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 28th were paid a $0.88 dividend. This is an increase from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 27th. This represents a $3.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.08%. Union Pacific’s dividend payout ratio is presently 44.50%.
A number of research firms have issued reports on UNP. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 27th. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Union Pacific from $190.00 to $166.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Argus boosted their target price on Union Pacific to $175.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Loop Capital downgraded Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $193.00 to $182.00 in a research note on Tuesday, March 19th. Finally, TD Securities boosted their target price on Union Pacific from $155.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company. Union Pacific currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $170.16.
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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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