Annual Reports

  • 10-K (Feb 3, 2017)
  • 10-K (Feb 5, 2016)
  • 10-K (Feb 6, 2015)
  • 10-K (Feb 7, 2014)
  • 10-K (Feb 8, 2013)
  • 10-K (Feb 3, 2012)

 
Quarterly Reports

 
8-K

 
Other

Union Pacific 10-K 2016
20151231 10K

 

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

(Mark One)

[X]     ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

OR

[  ]     TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from __________ to ____________

Commission File Number 1-6075

UNION PACIFIC CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

UTAH

 

13-2626465

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

 

Identification No.)

1400 DOUGLAS STREET, OMAHA, NEBRASKA

(Address of principal executive offices)

68179

(Zip Code)

(402) 544-5000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

 

Title of each Class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock (Par Value $2.50 per share)

 

New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

§

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 Yes    No

§

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

 Yes    No

§

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 Yes    No

§

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

 Yes    No

§

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

§

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer 

Accelerated filer 

Non-accelerated filer 

Smaller reporting company 

 

§

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).

 Yes    No

As of June 30, 2015, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock held by non-affiliates (using the New York Stock Exchange closing price) was $82.7 billion.

The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock as of January 29, 2016 was 846,414,350.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Documents Incorporated by Reference – Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 12, 2016, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report. The registrant’s Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A.

 

UNION PACIFIC CORPORATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman’s Letter

3

 

Directors and Senior Management

4

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

10

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

14

Item 2.

Properties

14

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

16

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

18

 

Executive Officers of the Registrant and Principal Executive Officers of Subsidiaries

19

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

20

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

22

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

23

 

Critical Accounting Policies

43

 

Cautionary Information

48

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

49

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

50

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

51

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

85

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

85

 

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

86

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

87

Item 9B.

Other Information

88

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

88

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

88

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

88

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

89

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

89

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

90

 

Signatures

Certifications

91

101

 

 

 

 

2


 

February 5, 2016

Fellow Shareholders:

This past year was a difficult one in many respects, but our team did outstanding work in the face of dramatic declines in volumes and shifts in our business mix.  Although our earnings per share of $5.49 fell short of last year’s record of $5.75 per share, we were able to improve our operating ratio to a record low 63.1 percent, 0.4 points better than 2014.  Our return on invested capital* of 14.3 percent also fell short of last year’s all-time high of 16.2 percent. Despite these shortfalls, Union Pacific was able to increase the cash returned to shareholders in 2015.  We increased our quarterly declared dividend per share by 10 percent, with total dividends declared per share for 2015 growing 15 percent compared to the full year 2014. We also repurchased $3.5 billion in Union Pacific shares, a 7 percent increase compared to 2014.

Union Pacific experienced a 6 percent decline in volume last year.  Carloadings declined in five of our six commodity groups.  Low natural gas prices and high coal inventory levels led to a significant reduction in our Coal volumes.  Declines in shale drilling activity due to lower energy prices drove reductions in frac sand shipments. Steel shipments also declined due to lower drilling activity as well as from the strength of the U.S. dollar.  Lower grain commodity prices, abundant worldwide inventories, and a strong U.S. Dollar negatively impacted grain shipments. International intermodal shipments declined as a result of the West Coast port work disruptions and higher than normal retail inventory levels.  Crude oil shipments declined as a result of lower crude oil prices and unfavorable spreads, while fertilizer shipments also declined year-over-year due to the uncertainty of grain commodity prices.  Increased auto production and vehicle sales drove strong growth in Automotive, our only business group which experienced volume growth in 2015.

As volumes began to decrease from 2014 levels, we were effective in aligning our resources to meet demand, while safely and efficiently serving our customers.  Our operating metrics showed a step function improvement throughout last year.  Average system velocity, as reported to the AAR, increased 6 percent and average terminal dwell decreased 3 percent when compared to 2014. By year end, our velocity was at an all-time best for that level of demand, and we continue to drive toward further network improvement.

2015 was a strong year for employee safety performance.  Our reportable personal injury rate of 0.87 declined 11 percent from last year, and was an all-time record low. As we move forward, we continue to utilize our safety strategy to yield record results on our way toward achieving our ultimate goal of an incident free environment. We have an unrelenting focus on risk reduction through internal programs such as Courage to Care and Total Safety Culture.  This is the cornerstone of our safety strategy so that every employee returns home safely at the end of each day.

Our robust capital program helps ensure we have the resources and network capacity required to efficiently handle our current volumes and future growth, while improving our network fluidity and generating returns for our shareholders.  We invested $4.3 billion in 2015 strengthening the franchise.  This included $1.9 billion in replacement capital to harden our infrastructure, and to improve the safety and resiliency of our network.  In addition, we spent $1.1 billion on locomotives and other equipment, and nearly $700 million on new capacity and commercial facilities.  We also spent almost $400 million toward completing the federally mandated Positive Train Control project.  The deadline for completing PTC was extended to December 31, 2018, and we will continue to work diligently to safely complete this mandate.

Overall economic conditions, uncertainty in the energy markets, commodity prices, and the strength of the U.S. dollar will continue to have a major impact on our business this year.  We are well-positioned to serve customers in existing markets as they rebound.  The strength and diversity of the Union Pacific franchise also will provide tremendous opportunities for new business development as both domestic and global markets evolve.

When combined with our unrelenting focus on safety, productivity, and service, these opportunities will translate into an excellent experience for our customers and strong value for our shareholders in the years ahead.

C:\Users\FPAN287\AppData\Local\Temp\notesBFFE17\fritz signature blue.jpg

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

*See Item 7 of this report for reconciliations to U.S. GAAP.

3


 

DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew H. Card, Jr.

 

Judith Richards Hope

 

Thomas F. McLarty III

President

 

Emerita Professor of Law and

 

President

Franklin Pierce University

 

Distinguished Visitor from Practice

 

McLarty Associates

Board Committees: Audit,

 

Georgetown University Law Center

 

Board Committees: Finance,

Compensation and Benefits

 

Board Committees: Corporate

 

Corporate Governance and

 

 

Governance and Nominating,

 

Nominating

Erroll B. Davis, Jr.

 

Finance

 

 

Former Chairman,

 

 

 

Steven R. Rogel

President & CEO

 

Charles C. Krulak

 

Former Chairman

Alliant Energy Corporation

 

General, USMC, Ret.

 

Weyerhaeuser Company

Board Committees: Compensation

 

Board Committees: Audit, Finance

 

Lead Independent Director

and Benefits (Chair), Corporate

 

 

 

Board Committees: Compensation

Governance and Nominating

 

Michael R. McCarthy

 

and Benefits, Corporate Governance

 

 

Chairman

 

and Nominating (Chair)

David B. Dillon

 

McCarthy Group, LLC

 

 

Former Chairman

 

Board Committees: Corporate

 

Jose H. Villarreal

The Kroger Company

 

Governance and Nominating,

 

Advisor

Board Committees: Audit,

 

Finance (Chair)

 

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer &

Compensation and Benefits

 

 

 

Feld, LLP

 

 

Michael W. McConnell

 

Board Committees: Audit,

Lance M. Fritz

 

General Partner and

 

Compensation and Benefits

Chairman, President and

 

Former Managing Partner

 

 

Chief Executive Officer

 

Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

 

 

Union Pacific Corporation and

 

Board Committees: Audit (Chair),

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

 

Finance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENIOR MANAGEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lance M. Fritz

 

Robert M. Knight, Jr.

 

Todd M. Rynaski

Chairman, President and

 

Executive Vice President–Finance

 

Vice President and Controller

Chief Executive Officer

 

and Chief Financial Officer

 

Union Pacific Corporation

Union Pacific Corporation and

 

Union Pacific Corporation

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

 

 

 

Cameron A. Scott

 

 

Scott D. Moore

 

Executive Vice President –

Eric L. Butler

 

Senior Vice President–

 

Operations

Executive Vice President-

 

Corporate Relations

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

Marketing and Sales

 

Union Pacific Corporation

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

 

 

 

Lynden L. Tennison

 

 

Joseph E. O’Connor, Jr.

 

Senior Vice President and

Diane K. Duren

 

Vice President–Labor Relations

 

Chief Information Officer

Executive Vice President and

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

 

Union Pacific Corporation

Corporate Secretary

 

 

 

 

Union Pacific Corporation

 

Patrick J. O’Malley

 

James J. Theisen, Jr.

 

 

Vice President–Taxes and General

 

Associate General Counsel and

Mary Sanders Jones

 

Tax Counsel

 

Interim Chief of Legal Staff

Vice President and Treasurer

 

Union Pacific Corporation

 

Union Pacific Corporation

Union Pacific Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael A. Rock

 

 

D. Lynn Kelley

 

Vice President–External Relations

 

 

Senior Vice President–Supply and

 

Union Pacific Corporation

 

 

Continuous Improvement

 

 

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

4


 

PART I

 

Item 1. Business

 

GENERAL

 

Union Pacific Railroad Company is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation. One of America's most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad Company links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain.  The Railroad’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates 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. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

 

Union Pacific Corporation was incorporated in Utah in 1969 and maintains its principal executive offices at 1400 Douglas Street, Omaha, NE 68179. The telephone number at that address is (402) 544-5000. The common stock of Union Pacific Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “UNP”.

 

For purposes of this report, unless the context otherwise requires, all references herein to “UPC”, “Corporation”, “Company”, “we”, “us”, and “our” shall mean Union Pacific Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Union Pacific Railroad Company, which we separately refer to as “UPRR” or the “Railroad”.

 

Available Information – Our Internet website is www.up.com. We make available free of charge on our website (under the “Investors” caption link) our Annual Reports on Form 10-K; our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q; eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) documents; our current reports on Form 8-K; our proxy statements; Forms 3, 4, and 5, filed on behalf of our directors and certain executive officers; and amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act). We provide these reports and statements as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We also make available on our website previously filed SEC reports and exhibits via a link to EDGAR on the SEC’s Internet site at www.sec.gov. Additionally, our corporate governance materials, including By-Laws, Board Committee charters, governance guidelines and policies, and codes of conduct and ethics for directors, officers, and employees are available on our website. From time to time, the corporate governance materials on our website may be updated as necessary to comply with rules issued by the SEC and the NYSE or as desirable to promote the effective and efficient governance of our Company. Any security holder wishing to receive, without charge, a copy of any of our SEC filings or corporate governance materials should send a written request to: Secretary, Union Pacific Corporation, 1400 Douglas Street, Omaha, NE 68179.

 

We have included the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) certifications regarding our public disclosure required by Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as Exhibits 31(a) and (b) to this report.

 

References to our website address in this report, including references in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Item 7, are provided as a convenience and do not constitute, and should not be deemed, an incorporation by reference of the information contained on, or available through, the website. Therefore, such information should not be considered part of this report.

 

OPERATIONS

 

The Railroad, along with its subsidiaries and rail affiliates, is our one reportable operating segment. Although we provide revenue by commodity group, we analyze the net financial results of the Railroad as one segment due to the integrated nature of our rail network. Additional information regarding our business and operations, including revenue and financial information and data and other information regarding environmental matters, is presented in Risk Factors, Item 1A; Legal Proceedings, Item 3; Selected Financial Data, Item 6; Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Item 7; and the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Item 8 (which include information regarding revenues, statements of income, and total assets). 

 

 

 

5


 

Operations – UPRR is a Class I railroad operating in the U.S. We have 32,084 route miles, linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and eastern U.S. gateways and providing several corridors to key Mexican gateways. We serve the Western two-thirds of the country and maintain coordinated schedules with other rail carriers to move freight to and from the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, the Southeast, the Southwest, Canada, and Mexico. Export and import traffic moves through Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast ports and across the Mexican and Canadian borders. Our freight traffic consists of bulk,

2015 Freight Revenue

Rev_Pie_2014.tif

manifest, and premium business. Bulk traffic primarily consists of coal, grain, soda ash, ethanol, rock and crude oil shipped in unit trains – trains transporting a single commodity from one source to one destination. Manifest traffic includes individual carload or less than train-load business involving commodities such as lumber, steel, paper, food and chemicals. The transportation of finished vehicles, auto parts, intermodal containers and truck trailers are included as part of our premium business. In 2015, we generated freight revenues totaling $20.4 billion from the following six commodity groups:

 

Agricultural Products – Transportation of grains, commodities produced from these grains, and food and beverage products generated 17% of the Railroad’s 2015 freight revenue. We access most major grain markets, linking the Midwest and Western U.S. producing areas to export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast ports, as well as Mexico. We also serve significant domestic markets, including grain processors, animal feeders and ethanol producers in the Midwest, West, South and Rocky Mountain states. Unit trains, which transport a single commodity between producers and export terminals or domestic markets, represent approximately 40% of our agricultural shipments.

 

Automotive – We are the largest automotive carrier west of the Mississippi River and operate or access over 40 vehicle distribution centers. The Railroad’s extensive franchise serves five vehicle assembly plants and connects to West Coast ports, Mexico gateways and the Gulf of Mexico to accommodate both import and export shipments. In addition to transporting finished vehicles, UPRR provides expedited handling of automotive parts in both boxcars and intermodal containers destined for Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. The automotive group generated 11% of Union Pacific’s freight revenue in 2015.

 

Chemicals – Transporting chemicals generated 17% of our freight revenue in 2015. The Railroad’s unique franchise serves the chemical producing areas along the Gulf Coast, where roughly 60% of the Company’s chemical business originates, terminates or travels. Our chemical franchise also accesses chemical producers in the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast. The Company’s chemical shipments include six categories:  industrial chemicals, plastics, fertilizer, petroleum and liquid petroleum gases, crude oil and soda ash. Currently, these products move primarily to and from the Gulf Coast region. Fertilizer movements originate in the Gulf Coast region, the western U.S. and Canada (through interline access) for delivery to major agricultural users in the Midwest, western U.S., as well as abroad. Soda ash originates in southwestern Wyoming and California, destined for chemical and glass producing markets in North America and abroad.

 

Coal – Shipments of coal and petroleum coke accounted for 16% of our freight revenue in 2015. The Railroad’s network supports the transportation of coal and petroleum coke to independent and regulated power companies and industrial facilities throughout the U.S. Through interchange gateways and ports, UPRR’s reach extends to eastern U.S. utilities, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Water terminals allow the Railroad to move western U.S. coal east via the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, as well as the Great Lakes. Export coal moves through West Coast ports to Asia and through the Mississippi River and Houston to Europe.  Coal traffic originating in the Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) area of Wyoming is the largest segment of the Railroad’s coal business.

 

Industrial Products – Our extensive network facilitates the movement of numerous commodities between thousands of origin and destination points throughout North America. The Industrial Products group consists of several categories, including construction products, minerals, consumer goods, metals, lumber, paper, and other miscellaneous products.  In 2015, this group generated 19% of our total freight revenue. Commercial, residential and governmental infrastructure investments drive shipments of steel,

 

6


 

aggregates (cement components), cement and wood products.  Oil and gas drilling generates demand for raw steel, finished pipe, frac sand, stone and drilling fluid commodities. Industrial and light manufacturing plants receive steel, nonferrous materials, minerals and other raw materials. Paper and packaging commodities, as well as appliances, move to major metropolitan areas for consumers. Lumber shipments originate primarily in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada and move throughout the U.S. for use in new home construction and repair and remodeling.

 

Intermodal – Our Intermodal business includes two segments: international and domestic. International business consists of import and export container traffic that mainly passes through West Coast ports served by UPRR’s extensive terminal network. Domestic business includes container and trailer traffic picked up and delivered within North America for intermodal marketing companies (primarily shipper agents and logistics companies), as well as truckload carriers. Less-than-truckload and package carriers with time-sensitive business requirements are also an important part of domestic shipments. Together, our international and domestic Intermodal business generated 20% of our 2015 freight revenue.

 

Seasonality – Some of the commodities we carry have peak shipping seasons, reflecting either or both the nature of the commodity and the demand cycle for the commodity (such as certain agricultural and food products that have specific growing and harvesting seasons). The peak shipping seasons for these commodities can vary considerably each year depending upon various factors, including the strength of domestic and international economies and currencies and the strength of harvests and market prices for agricultural products. In response to an annual request from the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to all of the Class I railroads operating in the U.S., we submit a publicly available letter during the third quarter detailing our plans for handling traffic during the third and fourth quarters each year and provide other information requested by the STB.

 

Working Capital – At December 31, 2015 and 2014, we had a modest working capital surplus, which provides enhanced liquidity. In addition, we believe we have adequate access to capital markets to meet any foreseeable cash requirements, and we have sufficient financial capacity to satisfy our current liabilities.

 

Competition – We are subject to competition from other railroads, motor carriers, ship and barge operators, and pipelines. Our main railroad competitor is Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC. Its primary subsidiary, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF), operates parallel routes in many of our main traffic corridors. In addition, we operate in corridors served by other railroads and motor carriers. Motor carrier competition exists for five of our six commodity groups (excluding most coal shipments). Because of the proximity of our routes to major inland and Gulf Coast waterways, barges can be particularly competitive, especially for grain and bulk commodities in certain areas where we operate. In addition to price competition, we face competition with respect to transit times, quality and reliability of service from motor carriers and other railroads. Motor carriers in particular can have an advantage over railroads with respect to transit times and timeliness of service.  However, railroads are much more fuel-efficient than trucks, which reduces the impact of transporting goods on the environment and public infrastructure, and we have been making efforts to convert certain truck traffic to rail.  Additionally, we must build or acquire and maintain our rail system; trucks and barges are able to use public rights-of-way maintained by public entities. Any of the following could also affect the competitiveness of our transportation services for some or all of our commodities: (i) improvements or expenditures materially increasing the quality or reducing the costs of these alternative modes of transportation, (ii) legislation that eliminates or significantly reduces the size or weight limitations applied to motor carriers, or (iii) legislation or regulatory changes that impose operating restrictions on railroads or that adversely affect the profitability of some or all railroad traffic. Finally, many movements face product or geographic competition where our customers can use different products (e.g. natural gas instead of coal, sorghum instead of corn) or commodities from different locations (e.g. grain from states or countries that we do not serve, crude oil from different regions). Sourcing different commodities or different locations allows shippers to substitute different carriers and such competition may reduce our volume or constrain prices. For more information regarding risks we face from competition, see the Risk Factors in Item 1A of this report.

 

Key Suppliers – We depend on two key domestic suppliers of high horsepower locomotives. Due to the capital intensive nature of the locomotive manufacturing business and sophistication of this equipment, potential new suppliers face high barriers of entry into this industry. Therefore, if one of these domestic suppliers discontinues manufacturing locomotives for any reason, including insolvency or bankruptcy, we could experience a significant cost increase and risk reduced availability of the locomotives that are necessary to our operations. Additionally, for a high percentage of our rail purchases, we utilize two steel producers (one domestic and one international) that meet our specifications. Rail is critical for

 

7


 

maintenance, replacement, improvement, and expansion of our network and facilities. Rail manufacturing also has high barriers of entry, and, if one of those suppliers discontinues operations for any reason, including insolvency or bankruptcy, we could experience cost increases and difficulty obtaining rail.

 

Employees  – Approximately 85% of our 47,457 full-time-equivalent employees are represented by 14 major rail unions. On January 1, 2015, current labor agreements became subject to modification and we began the current round of negotiations with the unions. Existing agreements remain in effect until new agreements are reached or the Railway Labor Act’s procedures (which include mediation, cooling-off periods, and the possibility of Presidential Emergency Boards and Congressional intervention) are exhausted.  Contract negotiations historically continue for an extended period of time and we rarely experience work stoppages while negotiations are pending.

 

Railroad Security – Our security efforts consist of a wide variety of measures including employee training, engagement with our customers, training of emergency responders, and partnerships with numerous federal, state, and local government agencies.  While federal law requires us to protect the confidentiality of our security plans designed to safeguard against terrorism and other security incidents, the following provides a general overview of our security initiatives. 

 

UPRR Security Measures – We maintain a comprehensive security plan designed to both deter and respond to any potential or actual threats as they arise.  The plan includes four levels of alert status, each with its own set of countermeasures.  We employ our own police force, consisting of more than 250 commissioned and highly-trained officers. Our employees also undergo recurrent security and preparedness training, as well as federally-mandated hazardous materials and security training. We regularly review the sufficiency of our employee training programs. We maintain the capability to move critical operations to back-up facilities in different locations.

 

We operate an emergency response management center 24 hours a day.  The center receives reports of emergencies, dangerous or potentially dangerous conditions, and other safety and security issues from our employees, the public, law enforcement and other government officials.  In cooperation with government officials, we monitor both threats and public events, and, as necessary, we may alter rail traffic flow at times of concern to minimize risk to communities and our operations.  We comply with the hazardous materials routing rules and other requirements imposed by federal law.  We also design our operating plan to expedite the movement of hazardous material shipments to minimize the time rail cars remain idle at yards and terminals located in or near major population centers.  Additionally, in compliance with Transportation Security Agency regulations, we deployed information systems and instructed employees in tracking and documenting the handoff of Rail Security Sensitive Materials with customers and interchange partners.

 

We also have established a number of our own innovative safety and security-oriented initiatives ranging from various investments in technology to The Officer on the Train program, which provides local law enforcement officers with the opportunity to ride with train crews to enhance their understanding of railroad operations and risks. Our staff of information security professionals continually assesses cyber security risks and implements mitigation programs that evolve with the changing technology threat environment. To date, we have not experienced any material disruption of our operations due to a cyber threat or attack directed at us.

 

Cooperation with Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies – We work closely on physical and cyber security initiatives with government agencies, including the DOT and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as local police departments, fire departments, and other first responders.  In conjunction with the Association of American Railroads (AAR), we sponsor Ask Rail, a mobile application which provides first responders with secure links to electronic information, including commodity and emergency response information required by emergency personnel to respond to accidents and other situations.  We also participate in the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, a multi-agency effort established by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to combat and prevent terrorism. 

 

We work with the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Military Transport Management Command, which monitor shipments entering the UPRR rail network at U.S. border crossings and ports.  We were the first railroad in the U.S. to be named a partner in CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, a partnership designed to develop, enhance, and maintain effective security processes throughout the global supply chain.

 

 

8


 

Cooperation with Customers and Trade Associations –  Through TransCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) we work with the AAR, the American Chemistry Council, the American Petroleum Institute, and other chemical trade groups to provide communities with preparedness tools, including the training of emergency responders.  In cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and other interested groups, we are also working to develop additional improvements to tank car design that will further limit the risk of releases of hazardous materials.

 

GOVERNMENTAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

 

Governmental RegulationOur operations are subject to a variety of federal, state, and local regulations, generally applicable to all businesses.  (See also the discussion of certain regulatory proceedings in Legal Proceedings, Item 3.)

 

The operations of the Railroad are also subject to the regulatory jurisdiction of the STB.  The STB has jurisdiction over rates charged on certain regulated rail traffic; common carrier service of regulated traffic; freight car compensation; transfer, extension, or abandonment of rail lines; and acquisition of control of rail common carriers. In 2015, the STB continued its efforts to explore whether to expand rail regulation. The STB requested parties to discuss the STB’s methodology for determining railroad revenue adequacy and the possible use of a revenue adequacy constraint in regulating railroad rates. The STB conducted a hearing on expanding and easing procedures for grain rate complaints.

 

The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 became law on December 18, 2015. The legislation increased the number of STB board members from three to five, requires the STB to post quarterly reports on rate reasonableness cases and maintain a database on service complaints, and grants the STB authority to initiate investigations, among other things.

 

The operations of the Railroad also are subject to the regulations of the FRA and other federal and state agencies.  On January 12, 2010, the FRA issued initial rules governing installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) by the end of 2015. The final regulation was issued on August 8, 2014. Although still under further development, PTC is a collision avoidance technology intended to override engineer controlled locomotives and stop train-to-train and overspeed accidents, misaligned switch derailments, and unauthorized entry to work zones. Through 2015, we have invested approximately $2.0 billion in the ongoing development of PTC.

 

Following the issuance of the initial rules, the FRA acknowledged that projected costs will exceed projected benefits by a ratio of at least 22 to one, and we estimate that our final costs will be higher than those assumed by the FRA. On October 29, 2015, Congress extended the December 31, 2015 PTC implementation deadline until December 31, 2018.  The PTC implementation deadline may be extended to December 31, 2020, provided certain other criteria are satisfied. We are planning to submit our required PTC safety plan to the FRA in the first half of 2016.

 

On May 1, 2015, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued final rules governing the transportation of flammable liquids.  The final rule included provisions for improved tank car standards, braking system requirements, community notification, and operating restrictions for certain trains carrying flammable liquids.  Subsequently, Congress enacted the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct an independent study on the rule’s proposed braking system requirements. Pending the outcome of the study, the braking system requirement may be eliminated or revised.  We will participate in and monitor the progress of the GAO study.

 

DOT, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, PHMSA and DHS, along with other federal agencies, have jurisdiction over certain aspects of safety, movement of hazardous materials and hazardous waste, emissions requirements, and equipment standards. Additionally, various state and local agencies have jurisdiction over disposal of hazardous waste and seek to regulate movement of hazardous materials in ways not preempted by federal law.

 

Environmental Regulation – We are subject to extensive federal and state environmental statutes and regulations pertaining to public health and the environment. The statutes and regulations are administered and monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by various state environmental agencies. The primary laws affecting our operations are the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, regulating the management and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, regulating the cleanup of

 

9


 

contaminated properties; the Clean Air Act, regulating air emissions; and the Clean Water Act, regulating waste water discharges.

 

Information concerning environmental claims and contingencies and estimated remediation costs is set forth in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Critical Accounting Policies – Environmental, Item 7 and Note 18 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

The information set forth in this Item 1A should be read in conjunction with the rest of the information included in this report, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Item 7, and Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Item 8.

 

We Must Manage Fluctuating Demand for Our Services and Network Capacity – If there is significant demand for our services that exceeds the designed capacity of our network, we may experience network difficulties, including congestion and reduced velocity, that could compromise the level of service we provide to our customers. This level of demand may also compound the impact of weather and weather-related events on our operations and velocity. Although we continue to improve our transportation plan, add capacity, improve operations at our yards and other facilities, and improve our ability to address surges in demand for any reason with adequate resources, we cannot be sure that these measures will fully or adequately address any service shortcomings resulting from demand exceeding our planned capacity.  We may experience other operational or service difficulties related to network capacity, dramatic and unplanned fluctuations in our customers’ demand for rail service with respect to one or more commodities or operating regions, or other events that could negatively impact our operational efficiency, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  In the event that we experience significant reductions in demand for rail services with respect to one or more commodities or changes in consumer preferences that affect the businesses of our customers, we may experience increased costs associated with resizing our operations, including higher unit operating costs and costs for the storage of locomotives, rail cars, and other equipment; work-force adjustments; and other related activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We Transport Hazardous Materials – We transport certain hazardous materials and other materials, including crude oil, ethanol, and toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) materials, such as chlorine, that pose certain risks in the event of a release or combustion. Additionally, U.S. laws impose common carrier obligations on railroads that require us to transport certain hazardous materials regardless of risk or potential exposure to loss. A rail accident or other incident or accident on our network, at our facilities, or at the facilities of our customers involving the release or combustion of hazardous materials could involve significant costs and claims for personal injury, property damage, and environmental penalties and remediation in excess of our insurance coverage for these risks, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We Are Subject to Significant Governmental Regulation – We are subject to governmental regulation by a significant number of federal, state, and local authorities covering a variety of health, safety, labor, environmental, economic (as discussed below), and other matters.  Many laws and regulations require us to obtain and maintain various licenses, permits, and other authorizations, and we cannot guarantee that we will continue to be able to do so. Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on us. Governments or regulators may change the legislative or regulatory frameworks within which we operate without providing us any recourse to address any adverse effects on our business, including, without limitation, regulatory determinations or rules regarding dispute resolution, business relationships with other railroads, calculation of our cost of capital or other inputs relevant to computing our revenue adequacy, the prices we charge, and costs and expenses. Significant legislative activity in Congress or regulatory activity by the STB could expand regulation of railroad operations and prices for rail services, which could reduce capital spending on our rail network, facilities and equipment and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. As part of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, rail carriers were to implement PTC by the end of 2015 (the Rail Safety Improvement Act).  The Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015 amended the Rail Safety Improvement Act to require implementation of PTC by the end of 2018, which deadline may be extended to December 31, 2020, provided certain other criteria are satisfied.  This implementation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to make other capital investments. Additionally, one or more consolidations of Class I railroads could also lead to increased regulation of the rail industry.

 

10


 

We May Be Affected by General Economic Conditions – Prolonged severe adverse domestic and global economic conditions or disruptions of financial and credit markets may affect the producers and consumers of the commodities we carry and may have a material adverse effect on our access to liquidity and our results of operations and financial condition.

 

We Face Competition from Other Railroads and Other Transportation Providers – We face competition from other railroads, motor carriers, ships, barges, and pipelines. In addition to price competition, we face competition with respect to transit times and quality and reliability of service. We must build or acquire and maintain our rail system, while trucks, barges and maritime operators are able to use public rights-of-way maintained by public entities. Any future improvements or expenditures materially increasing the quality or reducing the cost of alternative modes of transportation, or legislation that eliminates or significantly reduces the burden of the size or weight limitations currently applicable to motor carriers, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Additionally, any future consolidation of the rail industry could materially affect the competitive environment in which we operate.

 

We Rely on Technology and Technology Improvements in Our Business Operations – We rely on information technology in all aspects of our business. If we do not have sufficient capital to acquire new technology or if we are unable to develop or implement new technology such as PTC or the latest version of our transportation control systems, we may suffer a competitive disadvantage within the rail industry and with companies providing other modes of transportation service, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Additionally, if a cyber attack or other event causes significant disruption or failure of one or more of our information technology systems, including computer hardware, software, and communications equipment, we could suffer a significant service interruption, safety failure, security breach, or other operational difficulties, which could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We May Be Subject to Various Claims and Lawsuits That Could Result in Significant Expenditures – As a railroad with operations in densely populated urban areas and other cities and a vast rail network, we are exposed to the potential for various claims and litigation related to labor and employment, personal injury, property damage, environmental liability, and other matters. Any material changes to litigation trends or a catastrophic rail accident or series of accidents involving any or all of property damage, personal injury, and environmental liability that exceed our insurance coverage for such risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We Are Subject to Significant Environmental Laws and Regulations – Due to the nature of the railroad business, our operations are subject to extensive federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations concerning, among other things, emissions to the air; discharges to waters; handling, storage, transportation, disposal of waste and other materials; and hazardous material or petroleum releases. We generate and transport hazardous and non-hazardous waste in our operations, and we did so in our former operations. Environmental liability can extend to previously owned or operated properties, leased properties, and properties owned by third parties, as well as to properties we currently own. Environmental liabilities have arisen and may also arise from claims asserted by adjacent landowners or other third parties in toxic tort litigation. We have been and may be subject to allegations or findings that we have violated, or are strictly liable under, these laws or regulations. We currently have certain obligations at existing sites for investigation, remediation and monitoring, and we likely will have obligations at other sites in the future.  Liabilities for these obligations affect our estimate based on our experience and, as necessary, the advice and assistance of our consultants.  However, actual costs may vary from our estimates due to any or all of several factors, including changes to environmental laws or interpretations of such laws, technological changes affecting investigations and remediation, the participation and financial viability of other parties responsible for any such liability and the corrective action or change to corrective actions required to remediate any existing or future sites. We could incur significant costs as a result of any of the foregoing, and we may be required to incur significant expenses to investigate and remediate known, unknown, or future environmental contamination, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We May Be Affected by Climate Change and Market or Regulatory Responses to Climate Change – Climate change, including the impact of global warming, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  Restrictions, caps, taxes, or other controls on emissions of greenhouse gasses, including diesel exhaust, could significantly increase our operating costs.  Restrictions on emissions could also affect our customers that (a) use commodities that we carry to produce energy, (b) use significant amounts of energy in producing or delivering the commodities we

 

11


 

carry, or (c) manufacture or produce goods that consume significant amounts of energy or burn fossil fuels, including chemical producers, farmers and food producers, and automakers and other manufacturers.  Significant cost increases, government regulation, or changes of consumer preferences for goods or services relating to alternative sources of energy or emissions reductions could materially affect the markets for the commodities we carry, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  Government incentives encouraging the use of alternative sources of energy could also affect certain of our customers and the markets for certain of the commodities we carry in an unpredictable manner that could alter our traffic patterns, including, for example, the impacts of ethanol incentives on farming and ethanol producers. Finally, we could face increased costs related to defending and resolving legal claims and other litigation related to climate change and the alleged impact of our operations on climate change.  Any of these factors, individually or in operation with one or more of the other factors, or other unforeseen impacts of climate change could reduce the amount of traffic we handle and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

Severe Weather Could Result in Significant Business Interruptions and Expenditures – As a railroad with a vast network, we are exposed to severe weather conditions and other natural phenomena, including earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, mudslides or landslides, extreme temperatures, and significant precipitation. Line outages and other interruptions caused by these conditions can adversely affect our entire rail network and can adversely affect revenue, costs, and liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

Strikes or Work Stoppages Could Adversely Affect Our Operations – The U.S. Class I railroads are party to collective bargaining agreements with various labor unions. The majority of our employees belong to labor unions and are subject to these agreements. Disputes with regard to the terms of these agreements or our potential inability to negotiate acceptable contracts with these unions could result in, among other things, strikes, work stoppages, slowdowns, or lockouts, which could cause a significant disruption of our operations and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Additionally, future national labor agreements, or renegotiation of labor agreements or provisions of labor agreements, could compromise our service reliability or significantly increase our costs for health care, wages, and other benefits, which could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  Labor disputes, work stoppages, slowdowns or lockouts at loading/unloading facilities, ports or other transport access points could compromise our service reliability and have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  Labor disputes, work stoppages, slowdowns or lockouts by employees of our customers or our suppliers could compromise our service reliability and have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

The Availability of Qualified Personnel Could Adversely Affect Our Operations – Changes in demographics, training requirements, and the availability of qualified personnel could negatively affect our ability to meet demand for rail service. Unpredictable increases in demand for rail services and a lack of network fluidity may exacerbate such risks, which could have a negative impact on our operational efficiency and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We May Be Affected By Fluctuating Fuel Prices – Fuel costs constitute a significant portion of our transportation expenses. Diesel fuel prices can be subject to dramatic fluctuations, and significant price increases could have a material adverse effect on our operating results. Although we currently are able to recover a significant amount of our fuel expenses from our customers through revenue from fuel surcharges, we cannot be certain that we will always be able to mitigate rising or elevated fuel costs through our fuel surcharges. Additionally, future market conditions or legislative or regulatory activities could adversely affect our ability to apply fuel surcharges or adequately recover increased fuel costs through fuel surcharges. As fuel prices fluctuate, our fuel surcharge programs trail such fluctuations in fuel price by approximately two months, and may be a significant source of quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year volatility, particularly in periods of rapidly changing prices. International, political, and economic factors, events and conditions affect the volatility of fuel prices and supplies. Weather can also affect fuel supplies and limit domestic refining capacity. A severe shortage of, or disruption to, domestic fuel supplies could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.  Alternatively, lower fuel prices could have a positive impact on the economy by increasing consumer discretionary spending that potentially could increase demand for various consumer products we transport. However, lower fuel prices could have a negative impact on other commodities we

 

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transport, such as coal, frac sand and crude oil shipments, which could have a material adverse affect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We Utilize Capital Markets – Due to the significant capital expenditures required to operate and maintain a safe and efficient railroad, we rely on the capital markets to provide some of our capital requirements.  We utilize long-term debt instruments, bank financing and commercial paper from time-to-time, and we pledge certain of our receivables.  Significant instability or disruptions of the capital markets, including the credit markets, or deterioration of our financial condition due to internal or external factors could restrict or prohibit our access to, and significantly increase the cost of, commercial paper and other financing sources, including bank credit facilities and the issuance of long-term debt, including corporate bonds. A significant deterioration of our financial condition could result in a reduction of our credit rating to below investment grade, which could restrict, or at certain credit levels below investment grade may prohibit us, from utilizing our current receivables securitization facility. This may also limit our access to external sources of capital and significantly increase the costs of short and long-term debt financing.

 

A Significant Portion of Our Revenue Involves Transportation of Commodities to and from International Markets – Although revenues from our operations are attributable to transportation services provided in the U.S., a significant portion of our revenues involves the transportation of commodities to and from international markets, including Mexico and Southeast Asia, by various carriers and, at times, various modes of transportation. Significant and sustained interruptions of trade with Mexico or countries in Southeast Asia, including China, could adversely affect customers and other entities that, directly or indirectly, purchase or rely on rail transportation services in the U.S. as part of their operations, and any such interruptions could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. Any one or more of the following could cause a significant and sustained interruption of trade with Mexico or countries in Southeast Asia: (a) a deterioration of security for international trade and businesses; (b) the adverse impact of new laws, rules and regulations or the interpretation of laws, rules and regulations by government entities, courts or regulatory bodies, including taxing authorities, that affect our customers doing business in foreign countries; (c) any significant adverse economic developments, such as extended periods of high inflation, material disruptions in the banking sector or in the capital markets of these foreign countries, and significant changes in the valuation of the currencies of these foreign countries that could materially affect the cost or value of imports or exports; (d) shifts in patterns of international trade that adversely affect import and export markets; and (e) a material reduction in foreign direct investment in these countries.

 

We Are Subject to Legislative, Regulatory, and Legal Developments Involving Taxes – Taxes are a significant part of our expenses.  We are subject to U.S. federal, state, and foreign income, payroll, property, sales and use, fuel, and other types of taxes. Changes in tax rates, enactment of new tax laws, revisions of tax regulations, and claims or litigation with taxing authorities could result in substantially higher taxes and, therefore, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

We Are Dependent on Certain Key Suppliers of Locomotives and Rail – Due to the capital intensive nature and sophistication of locomotive equipment, potential new suppliers face high barriers to entry.  Therefore, if one of the domestic suppliers of high horsepower locomotives discontinues manufacturing locomotives for any reason, including bankruptcy or insolvency, we could experience significant cost increases and reduced availability of the locomotives that are necessary for our operations.  Additionally, for a high percentage of our rail purchases, we utilize two steel producers (one domestic and one international) that meet our specifications.  Rail is critical to our operations for rail replacement programs, maintenance, and for adding additional network capacity, new rail and storage yards, and expansions of existing facilities.  This industry similarly has high barriers to entry, and if one of these suppliers discontinues operations for any reason, including bankruptcy or insolvency, we could experience both significant cost increases for rail purchases and difficulty obtaining sufficient rail for maintenance and other projects.

 

We May Be Affected by Acts of Terrorism, War, or Risk of War – Our rail lines, facilities, and equipment, including rail cars carrying hazardous materials, could be direct targets or indirect casualties of terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks, or other similar events, any government response thereto, and war or risk of war may adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. In addition, insurance premiums for some or all of our current coverages could increase dramatically, or certain coverages may not be available to us in the future.

 

 

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 2. Properties

 

We employ a variety of assets in the management and operation of our rail business. Our rail network covers 23 states in the western two-thirds of the U.S.

 

2014_UP_Annual_Report_System_Map.tif

 

TRACK

 

Our rail network includes 32,084 route miles.  We own 26,064 miles and operate on the remainder pursuant to trackage rights or leases. The following table describes track miles at December 31, 2015 and 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015  2014 

Route

32,084  31,974 

Other main line

7,012  6,943 

Passing lines and turnouts

3,235  3,197 

Switching and classification yard lines

9,108  9,058 

Total miles

51,439  51,172 

 

HEADQUARTERS BUILDING

 

We own our headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. The facility has 1.2 million square feet of space for approximately 4,000 employees.

 

 

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HARRIMAN DISPATCHING CENTER

 

The Harriman Dispatching Center (HDC), located in Omaha, Nebraska, is our primary dispatching facility. It is linked to regional dispatching and locomotive management facilities at various locations along our network. HDC employees coordinate moves of locomotives and trains, manage traffic and train crews on our network, and coordinate interchanges with other railroads. Approximately 900 employees currently work on-site in the facility. In the event of a disruption of operations at HDC due to a cyber attack, flooding or severe weather or other event, we maintain the capability to conduct critical operations at back-up facilities in different locations.

 

RAIL FACILITIES

 

In addition to our track structure, we operate numerous facilities, including terminals for intermodal and other freight; rail yards for building trains (classification yards), switching, storage-in-transit (the temporary storage of customer goods in rail cars prior to shipment) and other activities; offices to administer and manage our operations; dispatching centers to direct traffic on our rail network; crew quarters to house train crews along our network; and shops and other facilities for fueling, maintenance, and repair of locomotives and repair and maintenance of rail cars and other equipment.  The following table includes the major yards and terminals on our system:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Classification Yards

Major Intermodal Terminals

North Platte, Nebraska

ICTF (Los Angeles), California

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Joliet (Global 4), Illinois

Englewood (Houston), Texas

East Los Angeles, California

Proviso (Chicago), Illinois

DIT (Dallas), Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Global I (Chicago), Illinois

Livonia, Louisiana

Marion (Memphis), Tennessee

Roseville, California

Global II (Chicago), Illinois

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Mesquite, Texas

West Colton, California

City of Industry, California

Neff (Kansas City), Missouri

Lathrop, California

 

RAIL EQUIPMENT

 

Our equipment includes owned and leased locomotives and rail cars; heavy maintenance equipment and machinery; other equipment and tools in our shops, offices, and facilities; and vehicles for maintenance, transportation of crews, and other activities. As of December 31, 2015, we owned or leased the following units of equipment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

Locomotives

Owned

Leased

Total

Age (yrs.)

Multiple purpose

5,917  2,135  8,052  18.7 

Switching

273  12  285  35.0 

Other

70  57  127  36.6 

Total locomotives

6,260  2,204  8,464 

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

Freight cars

Owned

Leased

Total

Age (yrs.)

Covered hoppers

12,693  15,189  27,882  20.2 

Open hoppers

7,272  3,464  10,736  29.0 

Gondolas

5,856  3,674  9,530  25.2 

Boxcars

3,147  4,432  7,579  32.9 

Refrigerated cars

2,681  4,006  6,687  25.1 

Flat cars

2,617  1,447  4,064  29.3 

Other

33  352  385  22.2 

Total freight cars

34,299  32,564  66,863 

N/A

 

 

 

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Average

Highway revenue equipment

Owned

Leased

Total

Age (yrs.)

Containers

33,633  25,998  59,631  8.0 

Chassis

22,086  26,837  48,923  9.6 

Total highway revenue equipment

55,719  52,835  108,554 

N/A

 

CAPITAL EXPENDITURES

 

Our rail network requires significant annual capital investments for replacement, improvement, and expansion. These investments enhance safety, support the transportation needs of our customers, and improve our operational efficiency. Additionally, we add new locomotives and freight cars to our fleet to replace older, less efficient equipment, to support growth and customer demand, and to reduce our impact on the environment through the acquisition of more fuel-efficient and low-emission locomotives.

 

2015 Capital Program – During 2015, our capital program totaled $4.3 billion. (See the cash capital expenditures table in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources, Item 7.)

 

2016 Capital Plan – In 2016, we expect our capital plan to be approximately $3.75 billion, which will include expenditures for PTC of approximately $375 million and may include non-cash investments.  We may revise our 2016 capital plan if business conditions warrant or if new laws or regulations affect our ability to generate sufficient returns on these investments.  (See discussion of our 2016 capital plan in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – 2016 Outlook, Item 7.)

 

OTHER

 

Equipment Encumbrances – Equipment with a carrying value of approximately $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion at December 31, 2015, and 2014, respectively served as collateral for capital leases and other types of equipment obligations in accordance with the secured financing arrangements utilized to acquire or refinance such railroad equipment.

 

As a result of the merger of Missouri Pacific Railroad Company (MPRR) with and into UPRR on January 1, 1997, and pursuant to the underlying indentures for the MPRR mortgage bonds, UPRR must maintain the same value of assets after the merger in order to comply with the security requirements of the mortgage bonds. As of the merger date, the value of the MPRR assets that secured the mortgage bonds was approximately $6.0 billion. In accordance with the terms of the indentures, this collateral value must be maintained during the entire term of the mortgage bonds irrespective of the outstanding balance of such bonds.

 

Environmental Matters – Certain of our properties are subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the protection of the environment.  (See discussion of environmental issues in Business – Governmental and Environmental Regulation, Item 1, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Critical Accounting Policies – Environmental, Item 7.)

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

From time to time, we are involved in legal proceedings, claims, and litigation that occur in connection with our business. We routinely assess our liabilities and contingencies in connection with these matters based upon the latest available information and, when necessary, we seek input from our third-party advisors when making these assessments. Consistent with SEC rules and requirements, we describe below material pending legal proceedings (other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to our business), material proceedings known to be contemplated by governmental authorities, other proceedings arising under federal, state, or local environmental laws and regulations (including governmental proceedings involving potential fines, penalties, or other monetary sanctions in excess of $100,000), and such other pending matters that we may determine to be appropriate.

 

 

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ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

 

As previously reported in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, the Illinois Attorney General's Office notified UPRR on January 14, 2013, that it will seek a penalty against the Railroad for environmental conditions caused by its predecessor at a former locomotive fueling facility in South Pekin, Illinois. This former CNW facility discontinued fueling operations in the early 1980s. Subsequent environmental investigation revealed evidence of fuel releases to soil and groundwater. In January 2007, the State rejected UPRR's proposed compliance commitment agreement and responded with a notice of intent to pursue legal action. UPRR continued to perform remedial investigations under the supervision of the Illinois EPA. In June 2012, the Illinois EPA approved UPRR's proposed remedial action plan for the site, consisting of no further action and monitoring for a period of ten years. Subsequently, the State notified UPRR that it would seek to recover a civil penalty, and during early negotiations, it offered to settle its claim for $240,000.  UPRR rejected this offer.  The State sued UPRR on October 26, 2013, in the Circuit Court for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, Tazewell County, Illinois. Through continued settlement negotiations, the parties reached an agreement to settle this matter in exchange for a payment by UPRR of $100,000.  A final agreement was signed by the parties and approved by the Circuit Court and UPRR completed payment of $100,000.

 

As previously reported in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, a punctured tank car resulted in an accidental release of sulfuric acid in a rail yard in Herington, Kansas in January, 2012. The acid was released on the ground and entered a creek that runs adjacent to the yard. Environmental remediation at the site is complete. Despite negotiations with the federal government, the Assistant U.S. Attorney (District of Kansas) filed a criminal charge against the Railroad on March 30, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for Kansas. The action alleges a misdemeanor charge for negligent violation of the Clean Water Act. The penalty range was $2,500 to $200,000. In addition, the federal government may debar the facility if UPRR were convicted. A debarment would prevent Herington Yard from participating in new government contract work.  On January 12, 2016, the federal judge in the U.S. District Court for Kansas dismissed the charge against the Railroad.  The EPA is considering whether to appeal the case or pursue civil penalties.  We cannot predict the ultimate impact of this proceeding at this time, but the proposed penalty could exceed $100,000.

 

We receive notices from the EPA and state environmental agencies alleging that we are or may be liable under federal or state environmental laws for remediation costs at various sites throughout the U.S., including sites on the Superfund National Priorities List or state superfund lists. We cannot predict the ultimate impact of these proceedings and suits because of the number of potentially responsible parties involved, the degree of contamination by various wastes, the scarcity and quality of volumetric data related to many of the sites, and the speculative nature of remediation costs.

 

Information concerning environmental claims and contingencies and estimated remediation costs is set forth in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Critical Accounting Policies – Environmental, Item 7.

 

OTHER MATTERS

 

Antitrust Litigation - As we reported in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007, 20 rail shippers (many of whom are represented by the same law firms) filed virtually identical

antitrust lawsuits in various federal district courts against us and four other Class I railroads in the U.S. Currently, UPRR and three other Class I railroads are the named defendants in the lawsuit. The original plaintiff filed the first of these claims in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey on May 14, 2007. The number of complaints reached a total of 30. These suits allege that the named railroads engaged in price-fixing by establishing common fuel surcharges for certain rail traffic.

   

In addition to suits filed by direct purchasers of rail transportation services, a few of the suits involved plaintiffs alleging that they are or were indirect purchasers of rail transportation and sought to represent a purported class of indirect purchasers of rail transportation services that paid fuel surcharges. These complaints added allegations under state antitrust and consumer protection laws. On November 6, 2007, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all of the rail fuel surcharge cases be transferred to Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Following numerous hearings and rulings, Judge Friedman dismissed the complaints of the indirect purchasers, which the indirect purchasers appealed. On April 16, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed Judge Friedman’s ruling dismissing the indirect purchasers’ claims based on various state laws.

 

17


 

On June 21, 2012, Judge Friedman issued a decision that certified a class of plaintiffs with eight named plaintiff representatives. The decision included in the class all shippers that paid a rate-based fuel surcharge to any one of the defendant railroads for rate-unregulated rail transportation from July 1, 2003, through December 31, 2008. This was a procedural ruling, which did not affirm any of the claims asserted by the plaintiffs and does not address the ability of the railroad defendants to disprove the allegations made by the plaintiffs. On July 5, 2012, the defendant railroads filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia requesting that the court review the class certification ruling. On August 28, 2012, a panel of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia referred the petition to a merits panel of the court to address the issues in the petition and to address whether the district court properly granted class certification. The Circuit Court heard oral arguments on May 3, 2013. On August 9, 2013, the Circuit Court vacated the class certification decision and remanded the case to the district court to reconsider the class certification decision in light of a recent Supreme Court case and incomplete consideration of errors in the expert report of the plaintiffs. On October 31, 2013, Judge Friedman approved a schedule agreed to by all parties for consideration of the class certification issue on remand.

 

On October 2, 2014, the plaintiffs informed Judge Friedman that their economic expert had a previously undisclosed conflict of interest. Judge Friedman ruled on November 26, 2014, that the plaintiffs had until April 1, 2015, to file a supplemental expert report to support their motion for class certification. The plaintiffs filed their supplemental expert report on April 1, 2015. Judge Friedman issued a scheduling order on June 19, 2015, scheduling a class certification hearing for November 2, 2015. Judge Friedman then vacated the hearing date in an Order on September 28, 2015 because of the potential impact resulting from the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court case, Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, related to class action certification and damages, which was heard on November 10, 2015. The Order requires the parties to file a joint schedule and briefing statement within fourteen days after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Tyson Foods matter, which is expected to be issued during the first half of 2016.

 

As we reported in our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed on June 10, 2011, the Railroad received a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on June 7, 2011, by Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC and related entities (Oxbow). The complaint named the Railroad and one other U.S. Class I Railroad as defendants and alleged that the named railroads engaged in price-fixing and monopolistic practices in connection with fuel surcharge programs and pricing of shipments of certain commodities, including coal and petroleum coke. The complaint sought injunctive relief and payment of damages of over $30 million, and other unspecified damages, including treble damages. Some of the allegations in the complaint were addressed in the existing fuel surcharge litigation referenced above. The complaint also included additional unrelated allegations regarding alleged limitations on competition for shipments of Oxbow’s commodities. Judge Friedman, who presides over the fuel surcharge matter described above, also presides over this matter. On February 26, 2013, Judge Friedman granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss Oxbow’s complaint for failure to state properly a claim under the antitrust laws. However, the dismissal was without prejudice to refile the complaint. Judge Friedman approved a schedule that allowed Oxbow to file a revised complaint, which Oxbow filed on May 1, 2013. The amended complaint alleges that UPRR and one other Class I railroad violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act and that UPRR also breached a tolling agreement between Oxbow and UPRR. Oxbow claims that it paid more than $50 million in wrongfully imposed fuel surcharges. UPRR and the other railroad filed separate motions to dismiss the Oxbow revised complaint on July 1, 2013. Judge Friedman heard oral arguments on the motions to dismiss filed by UPRR and the other railroad on January 8, 2015. Judge Friedman denied the motions to dismiss on February 24, 2015. This was a procedural ruling, which did not affirm any of the claims asserted by Oxbow and does not affect the ability of the railroad defendants to disprove the allegations made by Oxbow. UPRR filed its answer to Oxbow’s complaint on March 24, 2015, and the parties have commenced discovery.

 

We deny the allegations that our fuel surcharge programs violate the antitrust laws or any other laws. We believe that these lawsuits are without merit, and we will vigorously defend our actions. Therefore, we currently believe that these matters will not have a material adverse effect on any of our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

 

Not applicable. 

 

18


 

Executive Officers of the Registrant and Principal Executive Officers of Subsidiaries

 

The Board of Directors typically elects and designates our executive officers on an annual basis at the board meeting held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and they hold office until their successors are elected. Executive officers also may be elected and designated throughout the year, as the Board of Directors considers appropriate. There are no family relationships among the officers, nor is there any arrangement or understanding between any officer and any other person pursuant to which the officer was selected. The following table sets forth certain information current as of February 5, 2016, relating to the executive officers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business

 

 

 

 

Experience During

Name

Position

Age

Past Five Years

Lance M. Fritz

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of UPC and the Railroad

53

[1]

Robert M. Knight, Jr.

Executive Vice President – Finance and Chief Financial Officer of UPC and the Railroad

58

Current Position

Eric L. Butler

Executive Vice President – Marketing and Sales of the Railroad

55

[2]

Diane K. Duren

Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary of UPC and the Railroad

56

[3]

Todd M. Rynaski

Vice President and Controller of UPC and Chief Accounting Officer and Controller of the Railroad

45

[4]

Cameron A. Scott

Executive Vice President – Operations of the Railroad

53

[5]

 

 

 

 

 

[1]

On July 30, 2015, Mr. Fritz was named Chairman of the Board of UPC and the Railroad effective October 1, 2015. Mr. Fritz was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of UPC and the Railroad effective February 5, 2015. Previously, Mr. Fritz was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Railroad effective February 6, 2014, Executive Vice President – Operations of the Railroad effective September 1, 2010, and Vice President – Operations of the Railroad effective January 1, 2010.

[2]

Mr. Butler was elected to his current position effective March 15, 2012. He previously was Vice President and General Manager - Industrial Products effective April 14, 2005.

[3]

Ms. Duren was elected Executive Vice President of UPC and the Railroad effective October 1, 2012. In addition, Ms. Duren was elected Corporate Secretary effective March 1, 2013. She previously was Vice President and General Manager - Chemicals effective August 1, 2006.

[4]

Mr. Rynaski was elected Vice President and Controller of UPC and Chief Accounting Officer and Controller of the Railroad effective September 1, 2015. He previously was Assistant Vice President – Accounting of the Railroad effective January 1, 2014, and Assistant Vice President – Financial Reporting and Analysis effective April 1, 2011, and General Director – Information Technologies effective September 1, 2008.

[5]

Mr. Scott was elected to his current position effective February 6, 2014. He previously was Vice President Network Planning and Operations effective June 30, 2012, Regional Vice President – Western Region effective April 1, 2012, and Assistant Vice President Operations – Western Region effective February 16, 2009.

 

 

19


 

PART II

 

Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “UNP”.  The following table presents the dividends declared and the high and low prices of our common stock for each of the indicated quarters. All amounts are retroactively adjusted to reflect the June 6, 2014 stock split.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 - Dollars Per Share

 

Q1

 

Q2

 

Q3

 

Q4

Dividends

$

0.55 

$

0.55 

$

0.55 

$

0.55 

Common stock price:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    High

 

124.52 

 

112.44 

 

99.71 

 

98.28 

    Low

 

106.75 

 

94.91 

 

79.31 

 

74.78 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 - Dollars Per Share

 

Q1

 

Q2

 

Q3

 

Q4

Dividends

$

0.455 

$

0.455 

$

0.50 

$

0.50 

Common stock price:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    High

 

95.24 

 

102.96 

 

110.26 

 

123.61 

    Low

 

82.49 

 

90.36 

 

96.76 

 

96.17 

 

At January 29, 2016, there were 846,414,350 shares of common stock outstanding and 32,209  common shareholders of record. On that date, the closing price of the common stock on the NYSE was $72.00. We paid dividends to our common shareholders during each of the past 116 years. We declared dividends totaling $1,906 million in 2015 and $1,714 million in 2014. We are subject to certain restrictions regarding retained earnings with respect to the payment of cash dividends to our shareholders. The amount of retained earnings available for dividends decreased to $13.6 billion at December 31, 2015, from $15.4 billion at December 31, 2014.  (See discussion of this restriction in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources, Item 7.)  We do not believe the restriction on retained earnings will affect our ability to pay dividends, and we currently expect to pay dividends in 2016.

 

Comparison Over One- and Three-Year Periods – The following table presents the cumulative total shareholder returns, assuming reinvestment of dividends, over one- and three-year periods for the Corporation (UNP), a peer group index (comprised of CSX Corporation and Norfolk Southern Corporation), the Dow Jones Transportation Index (DJ Trans), and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (S&P 500).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period

UNP

 

Peer Group

 

DJ Trans

 

S&P 500

 

1 Year (2015)

(32.9)

%

(23.9)

%

(16.8)

%

1.4 

%

3 Year (2013 - 2015)

32.2 

 

43.9 

 

47.2 

 

52.5 

 

 

 

20


 

Five-Year Performance Comparison – The following graph provides an indicator of cumulative total shareholder returns for the Corporation as compared to the peer group index (described above), the DJ Trans, and the S&P 500. The graph assumes that $100 was invested in the common stock of Union Pacific Corporation and each index on December 31, 2010 and that all dividends were reinvested. The information below is historical in nature and is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

 

5_Year_Cumulative_Return_2014.tif

 

Purchases of Equity Securities – During 2015, we repurchased 36,921,641 shares of our common stock at an average price of $99.16. The following table presents common stock repurchases during each month for the fourth quarter of 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period

Total Number of Shares Purchased [a]

Average Price Paid Per Share

Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of a Publicly Announced
Plan or Program [b]

Maximum Number of  Shares Remaining Under the Plan or Program [b]

Oct. 1 through Oct. 31

3,247,731 

$

92.98  3,221,153  56,078,192 

Nov. 1 through Nov. 30

2,325,865 

 

86.61  2,322,992  53,755,200 

Dec. 1 through Dec. 31

1,105,389 

 

77.63  1,102,754  52,652,446 

Total

6,678,985 

$

88.22  6,646,899 

N/A

 

[a]

Total number of shares purchased during the quarter includes approximately 32,086 shares delivered or attested to UPC by employees to pay stock option exercise prices, satisfy excess tax withholding obligations for stock option exercises or vesting of retention units, and pay withholding obligations for vesting of retention shares.

[b]

Effective January 1, 2014, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to 120 million shares of our common stock by December 31, 2017. These repurchases may be made on the open market or through other transactions. Our management has sole discretion with respect to determining the timing and amount of these transactions.

 

 

21


 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

The following table presents as of, and for the years ended, December 31, our selected financial data for each of the last five years. The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Item 7, and with the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Item 8. The information below is historical in nature and is not necessarily indicative of future financial condition or results of operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millions, Except per Share Amounts,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carloads, Employee Statistics, and Ratios

2015  2014  2013  2012  2011 

For the Year Ended December 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating revenues [a]

$

21,813 

$

23,988 

$

21,963 

$

20,926 

$

19,557 

Operating income

 

8,052 

 

8,753 

 

7,446 

 

6,745 

 

5,724 

Net income

 

4,772 

 

5,180 

 

4,388 

 

3,943 

 

3,292 

Earnings per share - basic [b]

 

5.51 

 

5.77 

 

4.74 

 

4.17 

 

3.39 

Earnings per share - diluted [b]

 

5.49 

 

5.75 

 

4.71 

 

4.14 

 

3.36 

Dividends declared per share [b]

 

2.20 

 

1.91 

 

1.48 

 

1.245 

 

0.965 

Cash provided by operating activities

 

7,344 

 

7,385 

 

6,823 

 

6,161 

 

5,873 

Cash used in investing activities

 

(4,476)

 

(4,249)

 

(3,405)

 

(3,633)

 

(3,119)

Cash used in financing activities

 

(3,063)

 

(2,982)

 

(3,049)

 

(2,682)

 

(2,623)

Cash used for common share repurchases

 

(3,465)

 

(3,225)

 

(2,218)

 

(1,474)

 

(1,418)

At December 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets [c]

$

54,600 

$

52,372 

$

49,410 

$

46,842 

$

44,742 

Long-term obligations [c] [d]

 

30,692 

 

27,419 

 

24,395 

 

23,847 

 

22,848 

Debt due after one year [c]

 

13,607 

 

10,952 

 

8,820 

 

8,754 

 

8,650 

Common shareholders' equity

 

20,702 

 

21,189 

 

21,225 

 

19,877 

 

18,578 

Additional Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freight revenues [a]

$

20,397 

$

22,560 

$

20,684 

$

19,686 

$

18,508 

Revenue carloads (units) (000)

 

9,062 

 

9,625 

 

9,022 

 

9,048 

 

9,072 

Operating ratio (%) [e]

 

63.1 

 

63.5 

 

66.1 

 

67.8 

 

70.7 

Average employees (000)

 

47.5 

 

47.2 

 

46.4 

 

45.9 

 

44.9 

Financial Ratios (%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt to capital [c] [f]

 

40.7 

 

35.0 

 

31.0 

 

31.0 

 

32.3 

Return on average common
     shareholders' equity [g]

 

22.8 

 

24.4 

 

21.4 

 

20.5 

 

18.1 

 

[a]

Includes fuel surcharge revenue of $1.3 billion, $2.8 billion, $2.6 billion, $2.6 billion, and $2.2 billion for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011, respectively, which partially offsets increased operating expenses for fuel. (See further discussion in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Operating Revenues, Item 7.)

[b]

Earnings per share and dividends declared per share are retroactively adjusted to reflect the June 6, 2014 stock split.

[c]

Total assets, long-term obligations, debt due after one year, and debt to capital are retroactively adjusted to reflect the adoption of accounting standard updates on deferred debt issuance costs and deferred taxes. (See further discussion in Financial Statements and Supplementary Data– Accounting Pronouncements, Item 8.)

[d]

Long-term obligations is determined as follows: total liabilities less current liabilities.

[e]

Operating ratio is defined as operating expenses divided by operating revenues.

[f]

Debt to capital is determined as follows: total debt divided by total debt plus common shareholders' equity.

[g]

Return on average common shareholders' equity is determined as follows: Net income divided by average common shareholders' equity.

 

 

22


 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and applicable notes to the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Item 8, and other information in this report, including Risk Factors set forth in Item 1A and Critical Accounting Policies and Cautionary Information at the end of this Item 7.

 

The Railroad, along with its subsidiaries and rail affiliates, is our one reportable business segment. Although revenue is analyzed by commodity, we analyze the net financial results of the Railroad as one segment due to the integrated nature of the rail network.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

2015 Results

 

·

Safety – During 2015, we continued our focus on safety to reduce risk and eliminate incidents for our employees, our customers and the public. We achieved our best ever reportable personal injury incidents per 200,000 employee-hours of 0.87. In addition, we finished 2015 with a 3% improvement in our crossing incident rate per million train miles compared to the prior year. These results demonstrate our employees’ dedication to our safety initiatives and our efforts to further engage the workforce through programs such as Courage to Care, Total Safety Culture, and UP Way (our continuous improvement culture).

 

·

Financial Performance – In 2015, we generated operating income of $8.1 billion, an 8% decrease compared to a record-setting 2014.  Despite a 6% decrease in carloads, it was our second-best financial performance ever. Core pricing gains of 3.7%, productivity, and improved network operations partially offset the lower volumes.  Our operating ratio for 2015 of 63.1% was an all-time best, improving from last year’s operating ratio of 63.5%.  Net income of $4.8 billion translated into earnings of $5.49 per diluted share for 2015.

 

·

Freight Revenues – Our freight revenues declined 10% year-over-year to $20.4 billion as a result of lower volume levels in five of our six commodity groups and overall lower fuel surcharge revenue, partially offset by core pricing gains. Volume declines in coal, international intermodal, frac sand, metals, crude oil, and grain shipments more than offset volume growth in domestic intermodal, finished vehicles, automotive parts, industrial chemicals and plastics shipments.

 

·

Network Operations  – Significant improvements were made in our operating and service metrics, as our average train speed, as reported to the AAR, increased 6% in 2015 compared to 2014, and our average terminal dwell time decreased 3%, both reflecting the impact of lower volumes and improved network fluidity.

 

·

Fuel Prices – Our average price per gallon of diesel fuel in 2015 decreased 38% from the average price in 2014, as both crude oil and the conversion spreads between crude oil and diesel declined in 2015. The lower price decreased operating expenses by $1.2 billion (excluding any impact from year-over-year volume declines). Gross-ton miles decreased 9%, which also decreased fuel expense.  These declines were partially offset by a 1% increase in our fuel consumption rate, computed as gallons of fuel consumed divided by gross ton-miles in thousands.

 

·

Free Cash Flow – Cash generated by operating activities totaled $7.3 billion, yielding free cash flow of $524 million after reductions of $4.5 billion for cash used in investing activities and a 15% increase in dividends declared per share. In 2015, the timing of the dividend declaration and payable dates was aligned to occur within the same quarter, which resulted in two payments in the first quarter of 2015. Free cash flow is defined as cash provided by operating activities less cash used in investing activities and dividends paid. 

 

Free cash flow is not considered a financial measure under accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (GAAP) by SEC Regulation G and Item 10 of SEC Regulation S-K and may not be defined and calculated by other companies in the same manner. We believe free cash flow is important to management and investors in evaluating our financial performance and measures our ability to generate cash without additional external financings. Free cash flow should be considered in addition

 

23


 

to, rather than as a substitute for, cash provided by operating activities. The following table reconciles cash provided by operating activities (GAAP measure) to free cash flow (non-GAAP measure):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millions

2015  2014  2013 

Cash provided by operating activities

$

7,344 

$

7,385 

$

6,823 

Cash used in investing activities

 

(4,476)

 

(4,249)

 

(3,405)

Dividends paid

 

(2,344)

 

(1,632)

 

(1,333)

Free cash flow

$

524 

$

1,504 

$

2,085 

 

2016 Outlook

 

·

Safety – Operating a safe railroad benefits all our constituents: our employees, customers, shareholders and the communities we serve.  We will continue using a multi-faceted approach to safety, utilizing technology, risk assessment, quality control, training and employee engagement, and targeted capital investments.  We will continue using and expanding the deployment of Total Safety Culture and Courage to Care throughout our operations, which allows us to identify and implement best practices for employee and operational safety.  We will continue our efforts to increase detection of rail defects; improve or close crossings; and educate the public and law enforcement agencies about crossing safety through a combination of our own programs (including risk assessment strategies), industry programs and local community activities across our network.

 

·

Network Operations – In 2016, we will continue to align resources with customer demand, continue to improve network performance, and maintain our surge capability.

 

·

Fuel Prices – With the dramatic drop in fuel prices during 2015,  fuel price projections continue to be uncertain in the current environment. We again could see volatile fuel prices during the year, as they are sensitive to global and U.S. domestic demand, refining capacity, geopolitical events, weather conditions and other factors.  As prices fluctuate, there will be a timing impact on earnings, as our fuel surcharge programs trail fluctuations in fuel price by approximately two months.

 

Continuing lower fuel prices could have a positive impact on the economy by increasing consumer discretionary spending that potentially could increase demand for various consumer products that we transport. Alternatively, lower fuel prices will likely have a negative impact on other commodities such as coal, frac sand and crude oil shipments.

 

·

Capital Plan – In 2016, we expect our capital plan to be approximately $3.75 billion, including expenditures for PTC, 230 locomotives and 450 freight cars. The capital plan may be revised if business conditions warrant or if new laws or regulations affect our ability to generate sufficient returns on these investments. (See further discussion in this Item 7 under Liquidity and Capital Resources – Capital Plan.)

 

·

Financial ExpectationsEconomic conditions in many of our market sectors continue to drive uncertainty with respect to our volume levels.  We expect volumes to be down slightly in 2016 compared to 2015, but will depend on the overall economy and market conditions.  The strong U.S. dollar and historic low commodity prices could also drive continued volatility.  One of the biggest uncertainties is the outlook for energy markets, which will bring both challenges and opportunities.  In the current environment, we expect continued margin improvement driven by continued pricing opportunities, ongoing productivity initiatives, and the ability to leverage our resources and strengthen our franchise. Over the longer term, we expect the overall U.S. economy to continue to improve at a modest pace, with some markets outperforming others.

 

 

24


 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Operating Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

% Change

% Change

Millions

2015  2014  2013 

2015 v 2014

2014 v 2013

Freight revenues

$

20,397 

$

22,560 

$

20,684  (10)

%

%

Other revenues

 

1,416 

 

1,428 

 

1,279  (1)

%

12 

%

Total

$

21,813 

$

23,988 

$

21,963  (9)

%

%

 

We generate freight revenues by transporting freight or other materials from our six commodity groups. Freight revenues vary with volume (carloads) and average revenue per car (ARC). Changes in price, traffic mix and fuel surcharges drive ARC. We provide some of our customers with contractual incentives for meeting or exceeding specified cumulative volumes or shipping to and from specific locations, which we record as reductions to freight revenues based on the actual or projected future shipments. We recognize freight revenues as shipments move from origin to destination. We allocate freight revenues between reporting periods based on the relative transit time in each reporting period and recognize expenses as we incur them.

 

Other revenues include revenues earned by our subsidiaries, revenues from commuter rail operations that we manage, accessorial revenues, which we earn when customers retain equipment owned or controlled by us or when we perform additional services such as switching or storage, and miscellaneous contract revenue. We recognize other revenues as we perform services or meet contractual obligations.

 

Freight revenues from five of our six commodity groups decreased in 2015 compared to 2014 due to a 6% decline in carloadings and lower fuel surcharge revenue, partially offset by core pricing gains.  Volume declines in coal, international intermodal, frac sand, metals, crude oil, and grain shipments more than offset volume growth in domestic intermodal, finished vehicles, automotive parts, industrial chemicals and plastics shipments.

 

Freight revenues from all six commodity groups increased during 2014 compared to 2013 driven by 7% volume growth and core pricing gains of 2.5%.  Volume growth from grain, frac sand, rock, and intermodal (domestic and international) shipments offset declines in crude oil.

 

Our fuel surcharge programs generated freight revenues of $1.3 billion, $2.8 billion, and $2.6 billion in 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively. Fuel surcharge revenue in 2015 decreased $1.5 billion as a result of a 38% decrease in fuel price and a 6% reduction in carloadings.  Fuel surcharge revenue in 2014 increased 6% based on our 7% carloadings increase. 

 

In 2015, other revenue decreased from 2014 due to lower revenues at our subsidiaries, primarily those that broker intermodal and automotive services, partially offset by higher accessorial revenue driven by increased revenue for container usage and demurrage fees. 

 

In 2014, other revenue increased from 2013 due to higher revenues at our subsidiaries, primarily those that broker intermodal and automotive services, accessorial revenue driven by increased volume and per diem revenue for container usage (previously included in automotive freight revenue).

 

 

25


 

The following tables summarize the year-over-year changes in freight revenues, revenue carloads, and ARC by commodity type:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freight Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

% Change

% Change

Millions

2015  2014  2013 

2015 v 2014

2014 v 2013

Agricultural Products

$

3,581 

$

3,777 

$

3,276  (5)

%

15 

%

Automotive

 

2,154 

 

2,103 

 

2,077 

 

 

Chemicals

 

3,543 

 

3,664 

 

3,501  (3)

 

 

Coal

 

3,237 

 

4,127 

 

3,978  (22)

 

 

Industrial Products

 

3,808 

 

4,400 

 

3,822  (13)

 

15 

 

Intermodal

 

4,074 

 

4,489 

 

4,030  (9)

 

11 

 

Total

$

20,397 

$

22,560 

$

20,684  (10)

%

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue Carloads

 

 

 

 

 

 

% Change

% Change

Thousands

2015  2014  2013 

2015 v 2014

2014 v 2013

Agricultural Products

 

941 

 

973 

 

874  (3)

%

11 

%

Automotive

 

863 

 

809 

 

781 

 

 

Chemicals

 

1,098 

 

1,116 

 

1,103  (2)

 

 

Coal

 

1,459 

 

1,768 

 

1,703  (17)

 

 

Industrial Products

 

1,213 

 

1,368 

 

1,236  (11)

 

11 

 

Intermodal [a]

 

3,488 

 

3,591 

 

3,325  (3)

 

 

Total

 

9,062 

 

9,625 

 

9,022  (6)

%

%