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Investment Outlook Conference Summary :: Bob Turner

Delta Trust & Bank hosted the 10th Annual Investment Outlook Conference on February 23rd. We were honored to have Charles McVean with McVean Trading & Investments LLC and Bob Turner with Union Pacific join us as this year’s speakers. Chad Carlson, Vice President and Financial Advisor of Delta Trust Investments, attended this years conference and provided the following summary of Mr. Turner’s presentation. To watch Mr. Turner’s full presentation, click here.


We were pleased to have Mr. Bob Turner of Union Pacific Corporation join us for Delta Trust’s 2012 Investment Outlook Conference. Bob is the senior vice president of corporate relations, with company-wide responsibility for all communications, corporate advertising and brand management, public affairs, media relations, community and government affairs and corporate philanthropy. Mr. Jim Young, the company’s chairman, president and CEO had been the scheduled speaker.

For many of us, our primary encounter with the railroad may only be an occasional delay at a train crossing, but it’s worth noting that our railroads are a key contributor to keeping our economy moving (pun intended). Railroads haul 850 million tons of coal each year, move the majority of import and export vehicles, transport raw materials for our roads and homes, refridgerated food and everyday products to store shelves, and are considered the safest options for chemical transportation. And in today’s economic climate with worries over energy prices, Mr. Turner noted that rail transportation is three times cleaner than trucks on a ton-mile basis and four-times more fuel efficient and that U.S. rail rates are the most efficient, cost-effective land transportation system in the world. He shared that trains can move one ton of freight 480 miles on a single gallon of fuel.

Of particular interest to conference attendees was Union Pacific’s contributions to Arkansas. The company runs over 1300 miles of track across our state, employs of over 2600 Arkansans, contributes in excess of $200 million in payroll, and invested over $100 million in capital spending and provided  almost $350,000 in community support last year.

For the year ending 2011, the company reported a record $1.9 billion in free cash flow while processing $1.4 billion in share repurchases.  At the same time, Union Pacific increased its dividend over 58% (in-line with its well-covered target dividend payout ratio of 30%). And over the last 5 years while the annual return of the S&P 500 averaged under 1%, Union Pacific posted an average annual return assuming reinvested dividends of 19.9%. On March 1, 2011, the common stock closed at $111.53, paying a dividend of $2.40 / share or 2.15%. The company lists on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UNP.

The day following our conference, Union Pacific Corporation officially announced that Mr. Young will take a medical leave of absence from his responsibilities as president and chief executive officer while he is being treated for recently diagnosed pancreatic cancer. He will remain chairman of the board during his treatment. We join with the employees and staff of Union Pacific in sending our best wishes and prayers for Jim and his family.

Chad Carlson, CFP®
Vice President & Financial Advisor
Delta Trust Investments, Inc.

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