News Releases


Union Pacific Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

Omaha, Neb., April 22, 2021

First Quarter Results

  • Strong Core Results – Impacted by Weather and Fuel
  • Affirm 2021 Guidance

Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) today reported 2021 first quarter net income of $1.3 billion, or $2.00 per diluted share. This compares to $1.5 billion, or $2.15 per diluted share, in the first quarter 2020.

"The first quarter presented some real challenges that impacted our results, but the team did a great job managing the business," said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president, and chief executive officer. "We generated solid productivity through efficient use of our resources despite the significant weather event that covered most of our network in February and early March. I am particularly proud of the women and men of Union Pacific who rolled up their sleeves and kept the network safe, efficient and stable. Looking to the rest of the year, an improving economic outlook, our continued commitment to value based pricing that exceeds inflation and the opportunity for strong productivity give us confidence to affirm our 2021 guidance."

First Quarter Summary

Operating revenue of $5.0 billion was down 4% in first quarter 2021 compared to first quarter 2020. First quarter business volumes, as measured by total revenue carloads, decreased 1% compared to 2020 driven by declines in industrial and bulk shipments, partially offset by strength in premium carloads. In addition, for the first quarter 2021 compared to 2020:

  • Quarterly freight revenue declined 5%, as core pricing gains were more than offset by a less favorable business mix, decreased fuel surcharge revenue, and volume declines.
  • Union Pacific’s 60.1% operating ratio increased 110 basis points, negatively impacted by weather and rising fuel prices in the quarter.
  Operating Ratio Earnings Per Diluted Share
First Quarter 2020 59.0% $2.15
Weather Impact (1.6) pts ($0.16)
Fuel Impact (1.0) pts ($0.11)
Core Results 1.5 pts $0.12
First Quarter 2021 60.1% $2.00
  • Union Pacific’s reportable personal injury rate was 0.85 per 200,000 employee-hours compared to 0.80 for first quarter 2020.
  • Fuel consumption rate, measured in gallons of fuel per thousand gross ton-miles (GTMs), was flat.
  • Quarterly freight car velocity was 209 daily miles per car, a 1% decline.
  • Quarterly locomotive productivity was 138 gross ton-miles per horsepower day, a 5% improvement.
  • Quarterly workforce productivity was 1,002 car miles per employee, a 12% improvement.
  • Average maximum train length was 9,247 feet, a 10% increase.
  • The company repurchased 6.7 million shares in first quarter 2021 at an aggregate cost of $1.4 billion.
Summary of First Quarter Freight Revenues
  • Bulk down 1%
  • Industrial down 13%
  • Premium up 2%
2021 Outlook

"During the quarter our service product and lower cost structure enabled us to win new business and develop opportunities to grow," Fritz said. "There are many more growth opportunities to capture by also helping our customers efficiently and reliably reduce the carbon intensity of their supply chains. When we add improved safety results, we create strong value for all of our stakeholders."

First Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call

Union Pacific will webcast its first quarter 2021 earnings release presentation live at and via teleconference on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants may join the conference call by dialing 877-407-8293 (or for international participants, 201-689-8349).

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) delivers the goods families and businesses use every day with safe, reliable and efficient service. Operating in 23 western states, the company connects its customers and communities to the global economy. Trains are the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, helping Union Pacific protect future generations. More information about Union Pacific is available at

Union Pacific Investor contact: Brad Stock at 402-544-4227 or


This news release and related materials contain statements about the Company’s future that are not statements of historical fact, including specifically the statements regarding the Company’s expectations with respect to economic conditions and demand levels, its ability to improve network performance, its results of operations, and potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These statements are, or will be, forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements also generally include, without limitation, information or statements regarding: projections, predictions, expectations, estimates, or forecasts as to the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ business, financial, and operational results, and future economic performance; and management’s beliefs, expectations, goals, and objectives and other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts.

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Media Contact

Clarissa Beyah