OMAHA, Neb., Feb. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) announced that its Board of Directors today voted to increase the quarterly dividend on the Company's common shares by 10 percent to 88 cents per share. The dividend is payable March 29, 2019, to shareholders of record February 28, 2019. This marks Union Pacific's fourth dividend increase in the past six quarters. Union Pacific has paid dividends on its common stock for 120 consecutive years.
The Board today also approved a new share repurchase authorization, enabling the Company to buy up to 150 million of its common shares by March 31, 2022. The new authorization is effective April 1, 2019, and replaces the current authorization, which will now expire on March 31, 2019. The new authorization allows for the repurchase of 21 percent of current outstanding shares.
Since announcing its share repurchase program in January 2007, the Company has repurchased 38 percent of its outstanding shares at a total cost of approximately $31.9 billion, through February 6, 2019, with an average purchase price of $77.43 per share.
"The dividend increase and new share repurchase authorization are consistent with financial guidance we provided at our investor conference last year, including maintaining a dividend payout ratio between 40 and 45 percent and repurchasing approximately $20 billion of shares between 2018 and 2020," said Rob Knight, Union Pacific chief financial officer. "These actions demonstrate our confidence in Union Pacific's ability to continue growing cash returns for our shareholders."
The timing and volume of share repurchases may be executed at the discretion of management on an opportunistic basis, or pursuant to trading plans or other arrangements. Share repurchases under this program may be made in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise.
ABOUT UNION PACIFIC
Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP). One of America's most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 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 is classified into its Agricultural Products, Energy, Industrial and Premium business groups. 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.
This press release contains statements about the Company's future that are not statements of historical fact, including specifically the statements regarding the Company's ability to generate financial returns, implementing corporate strategies; and providing returns to its shareholders. These statements are, or will be, forward-looking statements as defined by the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times that, or by which, such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking information, including expectations about the Company's future performance or results are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in the statement. Important factors, including risk factors, could affect the Company's and its subsidiaries' future results and could cause those results or other outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Information regarding risk factors and other cautionary information are available in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2017, which was filed with the SEC on February 9, 2018. The Company updates information regarding risk factors if circumstances require such updates in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and its subsequent Annual Reports on Form 10-K (or such other reports that may be filed with the SEC).
Forward-looking statements speak only as of, and are based only upon information available on, the date the statements were made. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information. If the Company does update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that the Company will make additional updates with respect thereto or with respect to other forward-looking statements. References to our website are provided for convenience and, therefore, information on or available through the website is not, and should not be deemed to be, incorporated by reference herein.
SOURCE Union Pacific Corporation