FedEx (NYSE: FDX) earnings were up 76% in the second quarter, beating some analysts’ expectations and perhaps setting up a booming holiday season for the worldwide package delivery company.
FedEx reported earnings of $491 million and $1.57 per share for the quarter ended November 30. That’s up from $283 million and 89 cents a share the company posted in the same quarter in 2010. The $1.57 in profits per share was toward the high end of the $1.40 to $1.60 a share in earnings that most analysts had predicted.
FedEx’s strong quarterly earnings sent the stock up 5% in early trading today. The stock is currently trading at $81.18 a share.
As the largest domestic express shipping company, FedEx has long been regarded as a bellwether stock indicating the health of the U.S. economy. So its solid second quarter in advance of the holiday season is an encouraging sign that America may finally be waking from its long financial slumber.
FedEx’s strong earnings are also good news for the global economy, as the company ships packages all over the world. CEO Frederick Smith credited growth in online shopping as one reason for the company’s improved profits. The company’s freight shipping business also improved.
FedEx bumped its 2012 earnings forecast from $6.25 to $6.75 a share.