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UPS Beats Lowered Estimates, Sees First-Half Slowdown


United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get United Parcel Service, Inc. Class B Report

delivered fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' slightly lowered expectations, as strong growth in the company's international operations and logistics business helped prop up the bottom line.

The company also projected 8% to 10% revenue growth in the midst of an "expected slowing" in the first half of 2001.

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The express carrier and delivery package firm said fourth-quarter earnings totaled $724 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with $661 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago. According to a poll by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, 19 analysts expected earnings of 61 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $7.9 billion, up 6.1% from $7.4 billion last year. Revenue at the company's domestic package operations rose 4.4% to $6.3 billion, and revenue for international package operations rose 6.2% to $1.1 billion.

For 2001, UPS projected earnings per share growth of 9% to 11%. Analysts on average are calling for the company to earn $2.63 a share in 2001, compared with earnings of $2.38 a share in 2000. Analysts expect 2001 revenue of $32.3 billion, up from $29.77 billion this year.

Shares of UPS recently gained 46 cents, or 0.8%, to $61.26 in morning trading on the Big Board.