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Fuel prices, other factors hurt U.P. 2nd-quarter profits

SHARE Fuel prices, other factors hurt U.P. 2nd-quarter profits

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rising fuel prices and costs of hiring train crews and improving delivery speed will cut into second quarter profits at the nation's largest railroad, Union Pacific Corp. said Wednesday.

Earnings will range from 60 cents to 65 cents per share in the second quarter ending June 30, compared with $1.05 per share in the same period last year, Union Pacific said.

The forecast is also well below the consensus estimate of 96 cents a share by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Shares of Union Pacific fell $1.21, about 2 percent, to close at $58.78 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Union Pacific has been struggling with a crew shortage and rail congestion since last fall, when the economy began picking up. The railroad also was surprised by the number of engineers and conductors taking retirement under new federal rules.