Union Pacific Corp.’s stock price jumped +8% in early trading on Tuesday, following the announcement of Jim Vena as the new chief operating officer (COO) at the railroad company.
Railroad industry veteran Vena, 60, worked with the late Hunter Harrison to implement Harrison’s designed “precision scheduling railroading” (PSR) strategy for improving several railroads.
Union Pacific connects 23 states in western United States. But the company has faced challenges with service problems and rail network congestion, thereby dimming its profitability outlook for 2019. Nevertheless, the company adopted the PSR plan on Oct. 1 to improve the situation and to boost profitability by 2020.
The appointment of Vena made several analysts more hopeful of Union Pacific’s ability to successfully implement the PSR strategy. This led to the analysts’ upgrades in stock recommendations and/or price targets for the railroad company.