FedEx story updated from 8:17 a.m. ET to include additional downgrade from JPMorgan.
The downgrades come after FedEx reported strong fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday but issued cautious guidance for 2014 that flies in the face of decidedly more upbeat remarks from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke following the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
While the FOMC said Wednesday it sees "downside risks to the economic outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished since the fall," the view from FedEx wasn't so upbeat. In announcing fourth-quarter earnings of $2.13 a share on sales of $11.4 billion, FedEx Chairman Fred Smith cited "tepid economic growth and customer preference for less costly international shipping services."Morgan Stanley dropped its rating to equal weight from overweight, citing "structural and cyclical headwinds ... greater than we appreciated." Morgan Stanley analyst William Greene cut his price target to $105 from $112 on shares of the global shipping company. FedEx shares, which gained 1.07% to close at $100.54 Wednesday, were down by more than 2% in premarket trading Thursday. While Greene believes FedEx guidance may be too conservative, he doesn't believe it is likely to be raised until December, as "cost savings are likely to be back-half loaded." JPMorgan, on the other hand, does not believe guidance is too conservative. Analyst Thomas Wadewitz argues the shipper is "geared to serve champagne in a market that wants beer." Wadewitz lowered his recommendation to neutral from overweight and brought his price target down to $108 from $116. -- Written by Dan Freed in New York. Follow @dan_freed
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $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
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV