FedEx to add 20,000 seasonal workers; sees shipping up 13 percent

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Mon Oct 22, 201 – FedEx Corp said on Monday it plans to hire 20,000 seasonal workers, the same as last year, to handle holiday shipping volume that it expects will be up more than 13 percent.

An ongoing increase in e-commerce and last-minute orders amid a slow-growing economy will mean more deliveries for companies like FedEx that can handle fast shipments.

FedEx, which is closely watched as an indicator of consumer demand and economic health, anticipates handling more than 280 million shipments during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The company said the impact of an increase in holiday shipments was included in its fiscal 2013 earnings outlook.

For the second time this year, FedEx cut its forecast for global growth in 2013, citing slower growth in China, recession in some European economies and high energy prices.

FedEx can add the same number of seasonal workers as last year because it has been hiring staff throughout 2012, especially at the Ground and SmartPost divisions that will handle the bulk of the holiday volume, said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of market development and corporate communications.

December 10 is expected to be its busiest day ever with some 19 million shipments – a 10 percent increase from last year. E-commerce will drive the shipping volume on so-called “Green Monday,” which falls on the second Monday of December and kicks off the heaviest online shipping week of the year.

FedEx lowers 2013 profit view, plans air cost cuts

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Tue Sep 18, 2012 – FedEx Corp. lowered its fiscal 2013 profit target on Tuesday, saying earnings could slide as much as 6 percent for the year, as a weakening world economy prompts customers to shift toward lower-priced and slower shipping options.

The world’s second-largest package delivery company said makers of electronics and mobile phones had begun to move more of their cargo on ships as pressure on their selling prices makes the cost of air freight harder to bear.

“A lot of traffic is moving onto the water because moving goods by air is very energy-intensive,” Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith told investors on a conference call. “You can’t have jet fuel going up to close to $4 a gallon on occasion without it having a big effect on the choices people make.”

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company plans to take a “significant amount of cost” out of its express air freight operation, Smith said. It will provide details at an October investor meeting, but does not plan layoffs or “draconian steps,” he added.

Smith founded the company in 1971 as an air shipper, but today it moves a large amount of goods by truck.

FedEx said it expected a profit of $6.20 to $6.60 per share for its fiscal year, which ends in May. That is below both its prior forecast of $6.90 to $7.40 and Wall Street’s estimate of $7.03.

FedEx’s larger rival, United Parcel Service Inc., had cut its 2012 profit forecast in July, but the midpoint of the revised range would still represent roughly 9 percent growth.

FedEx’s shares fell 1.7 percent to $87.78 on the New York Stock Exchange.

FedEx to offer voluntary buyout to some U.S. employees

MEMPHIS, Mon Aug 13, 2012 – FedEx Corp.  said it will offer voluntary buyout incentives to certain U.S.-based employees to reduce costs as slow economic growth hurts shipping volumes and customers demand cheaper delivery options.

FedEx, which competes with United Parcel Service, said it expects the vast majority of those eligible for these incentives to be staff employees at its units FedEx Express and FedEx Services. The incentives will be offered to mostly non-operational staff groups.

The company said in June it is stepping up cost cutting measures. It said it expects the European debt crisis and slowing growth in Asia to impact the domestic and the global economic conditions.

FedEx said it is determining which workgroups will be eligible for these incentives and the program will not include any changes to retirement eligibility or payments.

It expects to provide more details at its investors and lenders meeting on Oct. 9 and 10, the company said.

Shares of FedEx closed at $87.80 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

FedEx profit rise beats estimates; forecasts advances

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Thu Mar 22, 2012 – FedEx Corp. reported higher quarterly profit that beat estimates, citing higher revenue per package and record holiday shipping, and forecast further advances in the current quarter.

A lower tax rate and mild winter weather as well as fuel surcharges also drove profit up, the world’s second-largest parcel delivery company said.

FedEx said on Thursday that net earnings in the third quarter ended February 29 rose to $521 million, or $1.65 per share, from $231 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, profit rose to $1.55 per share from 81 cents a year ago.

“FedEx Corp. results were driven by improving yields, record holiday package shipping and exceptional performance at FedEx Ground,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx chief executive officer, in a statement. “We expect our solid performance to continue in our fourth quarter, capping off a strong fiscal year.”

Revenue increased 9 percent to $10.56 billion from $9.66 billion a year ago. Analysts on average were expecting $10.6 billion, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

FedEx turns in higher-than-expected quarterly profit; buys aircraft

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ― FedEx Corp. reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said it is buying 27 new Boeing aircraft to update its fleet for fuel efficiency and cost savings.

The company also said it is deferring delivery of some Boeing freighter aircraft, adjusting for slowing volume out of Asia.

FedEx shares jumped more than 3 percent after the world’s No. 2 package delivery company reported fiscal second-quarter net profit of $497 million, or $1.57 per share, up from $283 million, or 89 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts had been expecting a profit of $1.52 a share.

FedEx also affirmed its fiscal 2012 guidance for $6.25 to $6.75 per share, after trimming it in September on tepid global economic growth and high fuel costs.

“Our improved performance was largely a result of effective yield management programs and strong demand for FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost services,” FedEx Chief Executive Officer Frederick Smith said in a statement. “With the healthy growth in online shopping this holiday season, demand is increasing for these residential delivery services.”

Revenue rose 10 percent to $10.59 billion. Analysts, on average, expected revenue would rise to $10.61 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The massive volume of goods moved by FedEx make its shipping trends a bellwether of consumer demand and the economic climate.

The value of packages that it handles in its trucks and planes each is equivalent to about 4 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and 1.5 percent of global GDP.

FedEx Express has signed an agreement with Boeing Co. to buy 27 new 767-300F aircraft, replacing some that are more than 40 years old.

The company said the 767s will provide similar capacity as the MD10s being retired, with about 30 percent more fuel efficiency and a minimum 20 percent reduction in unit operating costs.

Three of the planes will arrive in fiscal 2014, then six per year between 2015 to 2018.

FedEx profit rises to slightly beat forecast; pares 2012 outlook

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ― FedEx Corp., the world’s No. 2 package delivery company, reported a higher quarterly profit that slightly beat forecasts but pared its outlook for the full year, citing fuel prices and moderate global economic growth.

Analysts had expected the company to lower its earnings guidance based on a tepid domestic economy and slower international trade than many expected.

Businesses continue to keep a lean inventory based on consumer sentiment, heightening the focus on cost controls as well as rate increases to boost profits.

FedEx said its ground and freight results offset the impact of slowing economic growth, which stifled volumes, and announced more rate increases.

“The U.S. and global economy grew at a slower rate than we anticipated during the quarter,” Alan B. Graf, FedEx chief financial officer, said in a statement.

At FedEx Express, the largest division representing more than 60 percent of revenue, domestic revenue per package rose 13 percent on higher fuel surcharges, yield management and increased weight per package even as average daily package volume dropped 3 percent.

FedEx’s International Priority revenue per package grew 16 percent for the same reasons as well as the favorable impact of exchange rates, though average daily package volume fell 4 percent driven by declines from Asia.

“Clearly we’re seeing a slowdown, particularly out of Asia, but there are pockets of strength,” said Kevin Sterlin, BB&T Capital Markets analyst.

FedEx reiterated its multi-year plan to spend $4.2 billion, which analysts expect will largely go toward updating its fleet to more fuel efficient aircraft.

The company will increase shipping rates by a net 3.9 percent average for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services starting Jan. 2.

Pricing changes for FedEx Ground and SmartPost will be announced later in the year. The company started a 6.75 percent general rate increase earlier this month.

FedEx said its fiscal first-quarter profit was $464 million, or $1.46 per share, compared with $380 million, or $1.20 per share a year ago.

Analysts, on average, had expected $1.45 per share profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It pared its fiscal 2012 guidance to $6.25 to $6.75 per share from its June estimate of between $6.35 and $6.85 a share.

Revenue for the economic bellwether rose 11 percent to $10.52 billion in the quarter that ended August 31, from $9.46 billion a year earlier. That was above the $10.32 billion forecast on average by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

FedEx shares edged down 1.0 percent to $71.75 in premarket trading, and are down more than 22 percent so far this year.

With share prices depressed, the company said it plans to buy back 5.7 million shares under its existing repurchase authorization.

The Dow Jones Transportation average .DJT has dropped about 16 percent this year.