New Vernon Investment Management LLC Trims Stake in Union Pacific Co. (UNP)

New Vernon Investment Management LLC cut its position in shares of Union Pacific Co. (NYSE:UNP) by 40.1% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 2,985 shares of the railroad operator’s stock after selling 2,000 shares during the quarter. Union Pacific comprises 1.2% of New Vernon Investment Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 27th biggest position. New Vernon Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Union Pacific were worth $413,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Kalos Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Union Pacific in the fourth quarter valued at about $324,000. Oakworth Capital Inc. grew its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 35.3% in the fourth quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 11,159 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $1,543,000 after buying an additional 2,910 shares in the last quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Union Pacific in the fourth quarter valued at about $151,000. SlateStone Wealth LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Union Pacific in the fourth quarter valued at about $408,000. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Union Pacific by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,425,071 shares of the railroad operator’s stock valued at $473,437,000 after buying an additional 22,644 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.69% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Cowen reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $187.00 price target on shares of Union Pacific in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine raised Union Pacific from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Union Pacific from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 27th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on Union Pacific from $190.00 to $166.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Argus increased their price target on Union Pacific to $175.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Friday, January 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $170.63.

In related news, VP Todd M. Rynaski sold 8,802 shares of the firm’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 sale, the vice president now owns 19,731 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,354,270. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert M. Knight, Jr. sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.01, for a total value of $1,700,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 94,943 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,141,259.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 9.96% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:UNP traded up $7.38 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $176.66. 8,684,655 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,306,902. The company has a quick ratio of 0.74, a current ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32. Union Pacific Co. has a 52 week low of $126.37 and a 52 week high of $177.77. The company has a market cap of $127.70 billion, a PE ratio of 21.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.11.

Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 18th. The railroad operator reported $1.93 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.89 by $0.04. Union Pacific had a return on equity of 30.73% and a net margin of 26.59%. The company had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.51 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.68 EPS. Union Pacific’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Union Pacific Co. will post 8.98 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 28th were issued a dividend of $0.88 per share. This represents a $3.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 27th. This is an increase from Union Pacific’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. Union Pacific’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 44.50%.

Union Pacific announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, February 7th that authorizes the company to repurchase 150,000,000 outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the railroad operator to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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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; 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP)

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