July 18, 2013 / 12:43 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Higher freight rates boost Union Pacific profit

July 18 (Reuters) - Union Pacific Corp, the biggest U.S. railroad, posted a higher second-quarter profit on Thursday as increased freight rates offset lower volumes.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based company has gradually raised rates to make up for a decline in natural gas shipments due to lower prices for the commodity since the mild winter of 2011-2012.

Second-quarter freight volumes fell by 1 percent, but freight revenue climbed 5 percent as the company made more money shipping automotive parts, chemicals and coal.

Rivals have been struggling with the coal business. CSX Corp , which reported higher second-quarter earnings on Tuesday, said coal shipment revenue fell 6 percent.

Union Pacific, which links 23 states in the West and Midwest, earned $1.1 billion, or $2.37 per share, in the quarter, up from $1 billion, or $2.10 per share, a year earlier.

Wall Street was expecting $2.35 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose to $5.5 billion from $5.2 billion.

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