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Weather Impacts UPS 1Q Results

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today released first quarter 2014 results. Diluted earnings per share totaled $0.98, a $0.06 decline from first quarter 2013 adjusted results. Operating profit for the quarter was $1.5 billion, down $106 million from the prior-year’s adjusted results. Unusually harsh weather weighed on operating profit by approximately $200 million, due to increased expenses and slower revenue growth. Average daily shipments in the U.S. climbed 4.2% driven primarily by large e-commerce shippers using lightweight deferred shipping solutions.

The International segment operating margin expanded to 14.0% on daily volume growth of 7.9%. Supply Chain and Freight experienced improved operating profit and margin expansion.

For the first quarter of 2013, UPS reported diluted earnings per share of $1.08, which includes $36 million in after-tax gains related to the attempted acquisition of TNT.

“Much of the U.S. economy was negatively affected by the severe weather conditions in the first quarter, resulting in lower UPS operating results versus the prior year,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “International and the Supply Chain and Freight segment benefitted from positive momentum during the quarter as customers utilized the strategic investments made by UPS to strengthen our portfolio.”

Cash Flow

For the three months ended March 31, UPS generated $1.9 billion in free cash flow. The company paid dividends of $596 million, up 8.1% per share over the prior year, and repurchased 6.8 million shares for approximately $660 million.

U.S. Domestic Package

U.S. Domestic revenue increased 2.6% over the prior-year period, to $8.5 billion. Daily volume improved 4.2%, led by UPS SurePost and UPS Second Day Air.

The segment generated $927 million in operating profit, down $158 million compared to the prior year, due to the impact of severe winter weather. The company experienced lost revenue and additional cost as a result of significant network disruptions on more than half of the operating days during the quarter. Overtime wages, purchased transportation and snow removal costs increased substantially over the prior year. Operating margin contracted 220 basis points to 10.9%.

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