FedEx profit up despite worst winter
FedEx Ground in Moon was the biggest contributor to parent company FedEx Corp.'s third-quarter profit despite sever winter weather that disrupted operations and reduced shipping volume for the package-delivery giant.
FedEx said third-quarter net income rose about 5 percent to $378 million, or $1.23 per share, from $361 million, or $1.13 per share, a year ago. And sales rose about 3 percent to $11.3 billion. The results were below analysts expectations of a $1.45 per-share profit and revenue of $11.43 billion.
“It's been the toughest winter in which FedEx has ever operated,” Chairman and CEO Fred Smith told analysts. The weather reduced third-quarter results for the period ended Feb. 28 by an estimated $125 million. “So let's hope for spring.”
Storms disrupted operations, decreased shipping volume and increased costs, the Memphis-based company said, reducing its forecast for full-year earnings to $6.55 from $6.80 a share. It expects fourth-quarter earnings of between $2.25 and $2.50 per share.
“We continue to invest heavily in the growing FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost businesses,” said Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf. FedEx Ground's services include home delivery for consumers and FedEx SmartPost, a low-cost option for businesses that want to offer free shipping; the Postal Service delivers the final mile.
Henry J. Maier, CEO of FedEx Ground, said the unit worked through 20 significant weather events in the quarter. “We saw more customer closures in the quarter than we have in memory,” he said. “When we didn't have good weather, we were off considerably from what we expected it to be.”
Winter's effect on the company was unprecedented, Graf said, estimating that lost business for the company's Fed Express unit was about 40,000 packages a day for the quarter and about 100,000 packages a day at FedEx Ground.
Smith said FedEx handled December deliveries, but e-commerce shipments to residential customers are a big challenge. Customers are demanding service that tells them when a package ships, to be able to redirect delivery and know when it will arrive.
“So much of the business comes in such a short period of time. And obviously it is not possible to make these enormous capital investments for two or three weeks out of the year ... ,” Smith said. “You can clearly go broke trying to deliver non-compensatory packages into people's homes.”
Graf said FedEx Ground's operating income grew 2 percent to $477 million compared with last year, despite higher fuel and expansion costs. Revenue was $3.03 billion, up 10 percent from a year ago. Fed-Ex Ground employs nearly 3,000 in the region.
FedEx Express, the company's largest unit, had operating income of $135 million, up 14 percent from a year ago, on revenue of $6.67 billion, down slightly. FedEx Freight's income was $29 million, up from $4 million a year ago, on revenue of $1.35 billion, up 9 percent.
FedEx Express has been struggling with a decline in international priority deliveries as customers shift to less-expensive options. FedEx took steps in 2012 to retire older jets, pare capacity and eliminate 3,600 jobs through buyouts as part of a $1.6 billion cost-cutting plan that remains on track, Graf said. About 75 percent have accepted voluntary buyouts and left the company, he said. Most of the benefits from the cost-cutting program will be felt in 2015 and 2016.
John D. Oravecz is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7882 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Black Friday chaos dwindles thanks to earlier deals, online sales
- Employers cut back on holiday office parties
- Convinced Fed will raise rates in December, investors parse meaning of ‘gradual’ increase
- Fuel cell standoff slows car technology’s rise in popularity
- Yahoo investors losing patience with ‘star’ CEO Marissa Mayer
- Key gets stuck in ignition
- $170.4M AmEx charge yields whopping perk for Chinese billionaire
- Nimble Regal ready for winter with all-wheel drive
- Amazon raises bar for other retailers with same-day delivery
- Shopping beacons join list of ‘next big thing’ disappointments
- Stocks close quiet week with little change