Shares of FedEx (FDX) and United Parcel Service (UPS) delivered some welcome gains for investors Wednesday on the heels of a report that Amazon.com (AMZN) will suspend its competing delivery service in order to focus on a surge of online orders amid the coronavirus.
FedEx's stock price jumped 4.49% to $121.15 a share, followed by UPS, which rose 2.35% to $95.09 a share, on wings of a report by The Wall Street Journal that Amazon will put Amazon Shipping on ice starting in June.
While Amazon Shipping was only available in a few big cities, including Los Angeles, the move had caused significant concern on part of delivery sector mainstays FedEx and UPS given the impact the online retail giant has had on competitors in other sectors, such as brick-and-mortar retailers.
In response to Amazon's push into the delivery sector, FedEx last August nixed its contract to deliver packages for the online retailer.
J.P. Morgan analyst Brian Ossenbeck, in a note to clients, argued the move will provide a bigger bump to FedEx than UPS given it had been a direct competitor of Amazon Shipping since it severed ties last year.
The analyst sees a smaller bump for UPS, which has continued to deliver packages for Amazon and will now likely be called upon to pick up some of the slack.
However, while Amazon clearly is scrambling to fill its own orders, the decision to suspend Amazon Shipping also highlights some of the challenges the online retail giant faced in its push into the delivery sector, the J.P. Morgan analyst noted.
Even though it offered lower rates, Amazon Shipping, since it was launched two years ago, struggled to gain customers beyond its own delivery needs, Ossenbeck wrote.
"Building a full-fledged competitor to FedEx appears to look 'fantastical' after all," the J.P. Morgan analyst noted.