Union Pacific Shares Spike as Rail Industry Veteran Jim Vena Named New COO - TheStreet.com
Thestreet.com - Tue 8 Jan 15:35 GMT

Union Pacific Shares Spike as Rail Industry Veteran Jim Vena Named New COO - TheStreet.com

Union Pacific shares were indicated sharply higher in pre-market trading Tuesday after the railway operator said industry veteran Jim Vena would join the company later this month, less than a year after ending a four decade career with rival Canadian National…

  Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) shares spiked higher Tuesda after the railway operator said industry veteran Jim Vena would join the company later this month, less than two years after ending a four decade career with rival Canadian National.

  Vena, 60, will join Union Pacific on January 14 as chief operating officer, as well as executive vice-president, and will lead the company's "Unified Plan 2020" ambitions, which aim to reduce its operating ratio, a key industry measure for profitability, to at least 60%.

  "Unified Plan 2020 combines precision scheduled railroading principles with our own UP Way tools and best practices," Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz said in a statement.

  BMO Capital Markets analyst Fadi Chamoun said Vena's appointment could help Union Pacific address its scheduling challenges and improve productivity and reduce costs, unlocking as much as $2.3 billion in added value.

  "We believe that Jim Vena could be instrumental in helping UNP push forward with its Unified Plan 2020, which aims principally to improve operational efficiency through the implementation of (precision scheduled railroading (PSR)," Chamoun said.