Union Pacific CEO on the Business: ‘We’re Very Confident’ on Generating Cash

CEO Lance Fritz may have indicated a little something about the future of Union Pacific’s current buyback plan. Watch the video.

The current economic expansion in the U.S. has to end at some point, whether that’s tomorrow or in a couple of years. 

But Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz told TheStreet he isn’t worried about demand for goods, and therefore his $125 billion market cap company. He alluded to optimism on the ongoing program to return cash to shareholders, which includes the intention of buying back $20 billion worth of stock by 2020. 

“We’re very confident that there’s no end to our ability to continually to improve this business,” Fritz told TheStreet after being asked how much more the current buyback program can expand. “As we look forward after we’re through this latest iteration of sharing the cash back to our shareholders, we’ll just have to see what cash generation looks like from that point forward.” 

Fritz is a man with a plan, and the idea for Union Pacific right now is to get its operating ratio down, in order to protect cash flow. For the full plan on how the company will return money to investors, and what the operating ratio even is, see his comments to TheStreet here

For now, the company is in a great spot. Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2019, reported in late April, were $1.93, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.88. Revenue was $5.39 billion, which missed Wall Street’s expectations of $5.49 billion. Revenue fell 2% year over year.

Story by Jacob Sonenshine for thestreet.com

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