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UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced record 2012 fourth quarter and full year adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.32 and $4.53 respectively, with the U.S. Domestic segment leading the way. The company generated annual free cash flow of approximately $5.4 billion, a testament to operations execution and the emphasis UPS places on capital efficiency. UPS estimates that Hurricane Sandy reduced earnings per share by approximately $0.05.
UPS recorded a fourth quarter mark-to-market, non-cash, after-tax charge of $3.0 billion for its company-sponsored pension and post-retirement benefit plans. Although the plans exceeded their expected rate of return, these incremental gains were more than offset by a 120 basis point decline in year-end discount rates. As a result, on a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share for the quarter fell to a loss of $1.83. For the full year, reported diluted earnings per share were $0.83. This adjustment does not affect cash flow, required pension funding or benefits paid to plan participants.
“2012 presented its challenges, most notably weak global trade. Nonetheless, UPS executed well, delivering superior service to customers,” said Scott Davis, UPS Chairman and CEO. “Despite modest macro growth expectations for 2013 and uncertainty in the U.S. caused by the lack of progress in Washington, the UPS business model will deliver consistent results, with operating profit growth in all segments.”
UPS expects full year earnings per share to be within a range of $4.80 - $5.06, an increase of 6-to-12% compared to 2012 adjusted results. The company also raised guidance for 2013 share repurchases from $1.5 billion to $4.0 billion.
Operating profit (loss)
Average volume per day
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
During the year, UPS delivered more than four billion packages. For the quarter, it delivered 18.8 million pieces per day, an increase of 2.9% over the prior-year period.