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Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:24:28 AM

Re: Tuff-Stuff post# 298066

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Union Pacific 4Q Net Falls 17% On Still-Weak Demand

Last update: 1/21/2010 8:23:19 AM

Analysts surveyed: 24 Thomson Reuters EPS estimates can reflect either net income, operating income or funds from operations. The company's earnings figure is on a diluted basis. Thomson Reuters assumes earnings estimates from analysts are on a diluted basis.

Union Pacific Corp.'s (UNP) fourth-quarter profit fell a less-than-expected 17% as shipping demand continued to wane for the railroad company. Earnings "reflected the continued impact of the recession that began in 2008," said Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Young. "Although still uncertain, the economic picture for 2010 looks somewhat more favorable than it did a year ago." The company said it saw "slightly stronger" demand in the fourth quarter over "soft" prior-year volume levels in half of its business groups. Union Pacific, like the rest of the freight-transport industry, was stung in 2009 by declining freight volumes, which led to suffering bottom lines and sliding revenue across all of its sectors. In October, Union Pacific noted its business volumes had seemed to stabilize, but at very low levels, as the economy began to recover. The company reported a profit of $551 million, or $1.08 a share, down from $661 million, or $1.31 a share, a year earlier. Operating revenue dropped 12% to $3.75 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of $1.04 on $3.78 billion in revenue. Freight revenue dropped across all business segments, with the energy segment--the company's biggest by revenue--falling 22% and its industrial-products segment seeing a 28% slump. The least-hurt segment was automotive, which saw revenue fall 1%. Shares closed at $63.73 Wednesday and weren't active premarket. -By Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2855; nathan.becker@dowjones.com (END) Dow Jones NewswiresJanuary 21, 2010 08:23 ET (13:23 GMT)

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