received a nice holiday package in the form of an upgrade from Credit Suisse First Boston analyst John Barnes.
The stock was up $2.53, or 2.63%, to $98.79 after Barnes raised his rating on it to outperform from neutral and upped his 12-month price target to $130 from $85.
The analyst said in a research note that his bullish call is predicated on continued double-digit growth in the shipper's international business in the next several years, along with the potential for margin improvement at its Express unit and continued growth in its Ground unit. (Credit Suisse First Boston does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research notes.)
"We believe the market has yet to properly discount FedEx's international growth opportunities and the margin improvement that will come" with them, Barnes wrote. "With international volumes likely to continue to grow in the low double digits over the next several years, we believe there is a significant profit potential given that yields on international volumes are 3.5 times higher than domestic packages."
Barnes also wrote that volume growth at FedEx Ground has reaccelerated, while average daily package volume at FedEx Express will likely return to positive year-over-year comparisons after a decline in the first fiscal quarter of 2005 due to the loss of a
The analyst raised his fiscal 2005 earnings estimates for the company to $4.77 a share from $4.60. The current Wall Street consensus is for EPS of $4.69, according to Thomson First Call. Barnes also lifted his fiscal 2006 EPS estimate to $5.77 from $5.62, vs. the $5.22 consensus. (The company's fiscal year ends May 31.)