Union Pacific quarterly profit jumps on price hikes, higher shipments

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FILE PHOTO: A Union Pacific rail car is parked at the CP Rail Toronto Yard in Scarborough

(Reuters) -U.S. railroad operator Union Pacific Corp posted a 21.5% jump in first-quarter profit on Thursday, benefiting from higher shipments due to a rise in U.S. factory production and price hikes.

Price increases amid strong demand for high-margin automotive and intermodal shipments have helped U.S. railroads cushion the impact of persistent supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and inflation.

During the quarter, volumes rose 4%, led by bulk and industrial commodities. Operating ratio, a key profitability metric, improved to 59.4% from 60.1% a year earlier.

Total operating revenue in the quarter rose to $5.86 billion, from $5 billion last year.

Net income in the quarter ended March 31 rose to $1.63 billion, or $2.57 per share, from $1.34 billion, or $2 per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)