On Thursday, Union Pacific announced a 23.9 % increase in quarterly profit as it exported more industrial chemicals, metals, and forest products.

A boost in industrial activity resulted in more enterprises shipping out products to consumers, which benefited the Omaha, Nebraska-based rail operator ahead of the holiday season.Union Pacific Logo and symbol, meaning, history, PNG

Union Pacific's overall operating revenue increased to $5.73 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $5.14 billion the previous year.

Before the bell, the company's shares were up around 1%.

The railroad operator's net income increased to $1.71 billion, or $2.66 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $1.38 billion, or $2.05 per share, a year ago.