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UPS on Friday to Hire 50,000 Seasonal Staff; UBS Lifts Stock

UPS shares were higher after the shipping company said that on Friday it would hire 50,000 seasonal workers. UBS upgraded the stock to buy.

United Parcel Service  (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service Inc. Report shares were higher after the package-delivery group said that on Friday it would hire 50,000 seasonal workers and as investment firm UBS upgraded the stock to buy.

The Atlanta company is scheduled report its third-quarter earnings tomorrow.

UPS said that on Friday it would hire thousands of candidates on the spot as part of a broader effort, announced last month, to bring in more than 100,000 seasonal workers ahead of the holidays.

"Many of those who attend one of our job fairs this Friday will be hired by Monday, and many of those hired will be offered permanent jobs when the holidays are over," Chief Human Resources Officer Charlene Thomas said in a statement.

While most of this year’s hiring events will be virtual, all in-person hiring events will also include a virtual option, the company said.

UPS said it was looking to hire nationwide for all shifts. It's looking primarily to fill positions including package handlers, drivers, driver-helpers and personal-vehicle drivers.

The package-delivery giant also sponsors what it calls Earn and Learn, a program through which seasonal employees who are students can earn as much as $1,300 toward college expenses, in addition to their hourly pay, for three months of continuous employment. 

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UBS upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from neutral as it expected "significant pricing gains" for the shipping company during peak season.

"For UPS, we also expect new cost takeout and efficiency programs in 2021 to support meaningful margin expansion in the large domestic package business," said analyst Thomas Wadewitz in a note on Tuesday.

"We are upgrading UPS because we believe that rising visibility to pricing and cost gains and increasing [earnings-per-share] expectations can support further attractive upside for the stock."

UPS "can deliver significant EPS growth in 2021 / 2022 in multiple scenarios," added Wadewitz.

Last month analysts at Deutsche Bank and KeyBanc boosted their ratings on UPS and peer shipper FedEx  (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report due to improving pricing trends in the sector.

For the third quarter, a survey of analysts by FactSet is estimating that UPS earned $1.84 a share, or an adjusted $1.90, on revenue of $20.21 billion.

Shares of UPS were up 1.6% at $170.64 at last check.