Union Pacific Posts Weak Profit On Adverse Weather

(Reuters) -U.S. railroad operator Union Pacific Corp reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, hurt by delayed shipments amid labor shortages and adverse weather conditions.

“We continued to face challenges hiring craft professionals in critical locations and experienced the impact of extreme winter weather on our network in December,” said Union Pacific’s chief executive Lance Fritz.

Union Pacific, which connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, suffered some shipment delays over the Christmas period as the Elliott winter storm crippled travel and freight operations nationwide.

Still, price hikes helped the railroad operator to post a near 8% rise in total operating revenue to $6.18 billion.

Its net income fell 4% to $1.64 billion, or $2.67 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.71 billion, or $2.66 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast a profit of $2.78, Refinitiv IBES data showed.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Milla Nissi)