UPS Sees 'Difficult' First Quarter
UPS (UPS) matched analysts' adjusted earnings estimates for the fourth quarter, but the package shipper predicted a "difficult" first three months of 2008.
Excluding special items, earnings in the final quarter of last year were $1.20 billion, or $1.13 a share, in line with the Thomson Financial consensus estimate. Revenue rose 6.1% to $13.4 billion. Analysts had estimated $13.1 billion.
The quarter "produced solid growth in spite of a sluggish U.S. economy," UPS said Wednesday. In the year-earlier period, it earned $1.1 billion, or $1.04 a share.
Looking ahead, UPS projected earnings of 94 cents to 98 cents in the first quarter and $4.30 to $4.50 for the full year. Analysts had estimated 98 cents for the quarter and $4.45 for the year."While there is more uncertainty in the U.S. economy today than there was a year ago, we remain focused and confident that we will grow our global business," said CFO Kurt Kuehn, in a prepared statement. "We anticipate the first quarter will be the most difficult of the year due to lower profitability from an early Easter and additional interest expense not yet offset by labor contract benefits." During the fourth quarter, the company ratified a new five-year agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, resulting in a $6.1 billion payment to withdraw approximately 45,000 UPS employees from the union pension plan. Including the impact of that charge, UPS had a loss of $2.6 billion, or $2.46 a share.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV