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missed estimates but increased its fiscal 2011 guidance.

The company said it earned $1.16 a share for the fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 30. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $1.31 a share. Revenue rose 12% to $9.6 billion; analysts had estimated $9.7 billion.

In premarket trading, FedEx shares were down $2.11 to $90.28. Several analysts had

predicted an earnings beat shortly before the company reported.

Looking ahead, FedEx increased its fiscal 2011 guidance to between $5 and $5.30 a share, excluding items. Analysts were estimating $5.21 a share.

The company projected current-quarter earnings of 95 cents to $1.15 a share; analysts estimate $1.10 a share.

FedEx said its guidance assumes stable fuel prices and continued moderate growth and excludes the cost of combining FedEx Freight with FedEx National LTL operations. In the fiscal second quarter, those combination costs, along with a reserve associated with "a legal matter" at FedEx Express, negatively impacted earnings by 27 cents a share, the company said.

The improved guidance reflects better-than-expected holiday volumes, said CEO Fred Smith, in a prepared statement. "Solid demand for our transportation solutions, outstanding customer service from FedEx team members and a healthier global economy helped drive second-quarter revenue higher," Smith noted.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.


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Ted Reed