FedEx (FDX) Earnings Fail to Deliver

The sluggish global economy and Hurricane Sandy were among the headwinds dragging FedEx’s (NYSE: FDX) fiscal second-quarter earnings down 12% from a year ago.

The largest international shipping company in the world, FedEx generated $1.39 in per-share profits in the quarter ended November 30, trailing the $1.41 Wall Street analysts were expecting. The company insisted its results would have been 11 cents higher had Hurricane Sandy not cut down on shipping volumes in late October.

Apparently investors weren’t too worried about the earnings decline either. FedEx shares rose a full percentage point today despite the weaker-than-expected profits. For the year, the up-and-down is now up 8.5%.

Here are a few other key numbers from FedEx’s latest earnings report:

  • The company reiterated its projection of between $1.25 and $1.45 in per-share earnings during the current quarter.
  • Its overall profit of $438 million was down roughly $60 million from the second quarter last year. Revenue, however, improved 4.9%, and topped analyst expectations.
  • The company projected 1.9% growth in U.S. gross domestic product in 2013, and 2.5% global growth – a reduction from 2.7%.
  • Operating margin narrowed from 7.4% to 6.5%.

FedEx’s earnings aren’t bad when compared to rival UPS’ (NYSE: UPS) recent quarter. Profits were down 56% at UPS in the third quarter, due largely to slower international sales.

But UPS’s most recent fiscal quarter came before the blowout Black Friday sales period, unlike FedEx’s.

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