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7 Companies to Post Big Profit Gains

Stocks in this article: UPS FDX SSW CSX NSC LSTR JBHT

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United Parcel Service (UPS) is the world's largest express-delivery company. Its fleet of shiny brown delivery trucks is ubiquitous in over 120 countries. It provides logistics and freight forwarding via air, sea, rail and ground links as well as international trade management and customs brokerage.

More than 70% of its volume is business-to-business, and the company claims it delivers over half of the goods purchased on the Internet.

Standard & Poor's said in a recent research report that it expects 2011 revenue will rise 11% over last year, accelerating from 9%. "We see gains in U.S. domestic as well as international shipping, driven by strengthening in the U.S. and global economies.

"We see a 14% rise in supply-chain and freight revenues after a 16% increase in 2010," added S&P analysts, and fuel surcharges are likely to boost revenue. "We expect UPS to be successful in getting customers to absorb rate increases, given our view that shipping demand is likely to improve."

S&P estimates that UPS will post earnings of $4.36 per share in 2011, a 22% rise from 2010. Its survey of analysts' ratings found 12 "buys," 11 "buy/holds" and seven "holds."

UBS (UBS) has a "buy" rating on UPS shares and an $86 price target.

Bank of America (BAC) reiterated its "buy" rating on UPS on March 11 with an $82 price target based on a 19.5 times projected 2011 earnings estimate of $4.22 per share. It's forecasting earnings of $4.95 per share in 2012 for the company.

UPS's shares are up 2% this year and 18.5% over the past 12 months, giving the company a market value of $71 billion.

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