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Union Pacific Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis

October 05, 2012 | About:
With this article we are going to examine Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) through the lens of FAST Graphs™ - fundamentals analyzer software tool. Union Pacific is a company that is currently in value. With analysts from Capital IQ forecasting earnings growth to continue at about 15.2%, this may be an opportune time for the prudent dividend and growth investor to look into this fine company further for possible addition to their portfolio.

About Union Pacific Corp: Directly from their website

“Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.”

Earnings Determine Market Price: The following earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs™ clearly illustrates the importance of earnings. The Earnings Growth Rate Line or True Worth™ Line (orange line with white triangles) is correlated with the historical stock price line. On graph after graph the lines will move in tandem. If the stock price strays away from the earnings line (over or under), inevitably it will come back to earnings.

Earnings & Price Correlated Fundamentals-at-a-Glance

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs™ on Union Pacific Corp shows a picture of a company that’s in-value based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 13.2% and a current PE of 15.3. Analysts are forecasting the earnings growth to continue at about 15.2%, and when you look at the forecasting graph below, the stock appears in-value, (it’s inside of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

Union Pacific Corp: Historical Earnings, Price, Dividends and Normal PE Since 1999

UNP1.png

Performance Table Union Pacific Corp

The associated performance results with the earnings and price correlated graph, validates the principles regarding the two components of total return; capital appreciation and dividend income. Dividends are included in the total return calculation and are assumed paid, but not reinvested.

When presented separately like this, the additional rate of return a dividend paying stock produces for shareholders becomes undeniably evident. In addition to the 13% capital appreciation (green circle), long-term shareholders of Union Pacific, assuming an initial investment of $1,000, would have received an additional $521.68 in dividends (blue highlighting) that increased their total return from 13% to 13.8% per annum versus 1.3% (red circle) in the S&P 500.

UNP2.png

The following graph plots the historical PE ratio (the dark blue line) in conjunction with 10-year Treasury note interest. Notice that the current price earnings ratio on this quality company is as normal as it has been since 1999.

UNP3.png

A further indication of valuation can be seen by examining a company’s current price to sales ratio relative to its historical price to sales ratio. The current price to sales ratio for Union Pacific Corp is 2.80 which is historically high.

UNP4.png

Looking to the Future

Extensive research has provided a preponderance of conclusive evidence that future long-term returns are a function of two critical determinants:

1. The rate of change (growth rate) of the company’s earnings

2. The price or valuation you pay to buy those earnings

Forecasting future earnings growth, bought at sound valuations, is the key to safe, sound, and profitable performance.

The Estimated Earnings and Return Calculator Tool is a simple yet powerful resource that empowers the user to calculate and run various investing scenarios that generate precise rate of return potentialities. Thinking the investment through to its logical conclusion is an important component towards making sound and prudent commonsense investing decisions.

The consensus of 28 leading analysts reporting to Capital IQ forecast Union Pacific’s long-term earnings growth at 15.2% (orange circle). Union Pacific has medium long-term debt at 32% of capital (red circle). Union Pacific is currently trading at a P/E of 15.3, which is inside the value corridor (defined by the five orange lines) of a maximum P/E of 15.2. If the earnings materialize as forecast, Union Pacific’s True Worth™ valuation would be $253.28 at the end of 2018 (brown circle on EYE Chart), which would be a 16.8% annual rate of return from the current price (yellow highlighting).

UNP5.png

Earnings Yield Estimates

Discounted Future Cash Flows: All companies derive their value from the future cash flows (earnings) they are capable of generating for their stakeholders over time. Therefore, because Earnings Determine Market Price in the long run, we expect the future earnings of a company to justify the price we pay.

Since all investments potentially compete with all other investments, it is useful to compare investing in any prospective company to that of a comparable investment in low-risk Treasury bonds. Comparing an investment in Union Pacific to an equal investment in 10-year Treasury bonds, illustrates that Union Pacific’s expected earnings would be 8.2 (purple circle) times that of the 10-year T-bond Interest (see EYE chart below). This is the essence of the importance of proper valuation as a critical investing component.

UNP6.png

Summary & Conclusions

This report presented essential “fundamentals at a glance” illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although, with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, it’s imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

Disclosure: No position at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this document are for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the stocks mentioned or to solicit transactions or clients. Past performance of the companies discussed may not continue and the companies may not achieve the earnings growth as predicted. The information in this document is believed to be accurate, but under no circumstances should a person act upon the information contained within. We do not recommend that anyone act upon any investment information without first consulting an investment adviser as to the suitability of such investments for his specific situation. A comprehensive due diligence effort is recommended.

About the author:

FAST Graphs
F.A.S.T. Graphs™ is a powerful research tool providing "essential fundamentals at a glance" on over 17,000 symbols. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ empowers the user to research stocks deeper and faster by allowing them to exploit the undeniable relationship and functional correlation between long-term earnings growth and market price. Warren Buffett, the greatest capital allocator of all time, said; "there are only two things that investor needs to know; how to value a company and how to think about stock prices." With the F.A.S.T. Graphs™ at their disposal, users are able to perform both of these critical tasks... FAST.

F.A.S.T. is an acronym for Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool that takes all the hours of manual graphing of business fundamentals and reduces it to seconds, giving you critical information in an instant. With one glance you know a lot about the business you are graphing and its past, present and future value. F.A.S.T. Graphs™ should be the first step in every research project. Each graph is worth 1,000 words in describing a company's growth, consistency and valuation.

Visit FAST Graphs's Website


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