April 19, 2007 12:00 PM, EDT

Union Pacific’s 1Q Profit Rises

Union Pacific Corp., the nation’s largest freight railroad, said Thursday its first-quarter profit rose 24% to $386 million or $1.41 per share, from $311 million or $1.15 last year.

Revenue rose 4% to $3.85 billion, UP said.

Net income exceeded the company’s and analysts’ predictions, the Associated Press reported. The railroad said in January that it expected its quarterly profit to be between $1.25 and $1.35 per share.

Full-year rail freight volumes will be flat to a 2% increase over last year, company officials said in a conference call Thursday, Reuters reported.

Officials predicted 10% to 15% earnings growth in the second quarter and per-share earnings of $1.44. For the full year, officials predicted 4% to 6% growth in revenue, AP reported.

First-quarter carloads fell 2 percent year over year to 2.3 million, partially due to bad weather, which officials cost the railroad about $15 million during the quarter.