FedEx shares jumped 5.7% to $264.60 in extended trading after the Memphis-based company said it now expects adjusted fiscal 2024 earnings of $17 to $18.50 per share, increasing the low end of the range by 50 cents from its prior forecast.
The global delivery firm reported fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings of $4.55 per share, blowing past Wall Street expectations of $3.73 per share, according to LSEG data.
Tumultuous labor talks at direct competitor United Parcel Service and the bankruptcy of trucking firm Yellow created market share opportunities in the U.S. transportation industry, FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam said on a conference call to discuss the results.
“We captured upside as a result of these one-time events,” he said.
Operating income in FedEx’s Ground division jumped 59% for the quarter ended Aug. 31. That unit benefited from UPS customers shifting packages to alternate carriers ahead of the Aug. 1 expiration of its contract covering about 340,000 United Brotherhood of Teamsters-represented workers.
UPS executives last month said its customers shifted 1 million packages per day to other providers, resulting in about $200 million of lost sales. FedEx said it added about 400,000 to its average daily volume by the end of August. Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx also took advantage of the demise of Yellow, a dominant player in the less-than-truckload trucking sector in which FedEx Freight is a major player. FedEx said it added about 5,000 average daily shipments after the bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the Freight unit’s operating income fell 26% during the quarter.
Operating income in its largest Express division rose 18% for the quarter, as cost cuts from parking aircraft and layoffs more than offset a 9% revenue decline due to soft global demand.
FedEx and other shipping companies are grappling with a global downturn and racing to adjust costs to match diminished demand. As a result, the company now expects full-year revenue to be flat versus a year ago, compared with its prior projection of flat to low-single-digit percent revenue growth.
Under pressure from investors including activist D.E. Shaw, FedEx last year slashed its workforce, retired and parked planes, shuttered offices and pared back profit-sapping Sunday deliveries in a bid to cut $4 billion in permanent costs by the end of its 2025 financial year. It also began merging its separately operated divisions to better compete with more cost-conscious UPS.
In a nod to shareholders, FedEx said it would repurchase $1.5 billion of common stock this fiscal year ended May
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