United Parcel Service Misses Earnings, Lowers Outlook
The world’s largest package delivery company, United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS – $99.36) announced adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.21 for the second quarter of 2014, a 7.1% improvement over the prior year period of $1.13, but four cents below Street estimates. Total revenues of $14.26 billion were up from $13.50 billion in last year’s second quarter, and beat analyst projections of $14.10 billion. E-commerce shipping in the U.S. and strong international export growth contributed to a 7.2% increase in global package shipments. But in the US, average revenue/package fell 2% and the metric dropped 1.7% overseas amid a 4% drop in export yields. UPS went onto say that it is going to make some significant logistical improvements throughout the remainder of the year, which will provide new capabilities and expand capacity to ensure it meets the rapidly growing needs of the marketplace. However, these upgrades will come at a price of about $175 million and the company is lowering its expectations for adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in a range of $4.90 to $5.00, and well below consensus estimates of $5.08. Atlanta-based United Parcel was hit with last-minute Christmas shipment problems last year, which it hopes to avoid by making these adjustments and improve domestic delivery operations for the longer-term. Earnings for 2015, assuming no further adverse logistical problems for the carrier or a slowdown in economic growth, are estimated at $5.65. For now, conservative investors can hold on to the shares that yield 2.6%, as e-commerce growth and international shipments should improve over time.