Expeditors International of Washington
said its earnings for the third quarter will likely fall below Wall Street's estimates, saying it was faced with compressed airfreight margins and relatively diminished airfreight tonnage out of Asia, which more than offset the positive gains in ocean shipping.
The logistics company now expects to earn 28 cents to 30 cents a share in the quarter, compared with 28 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are looking for 33 cents a share.
"While July 2003 was encouraging, August 2003 was frankly a disappointment on a year over year comparison," the company said in a press release. "One month in and of itself rarely determines the quarter, but recent trends in the Asia airfreight market make us believe that September 2003 results, whatever they may turn out to be," are unlikely to put the consensus estimate within reach.
Expeditors said it's too early for the company to offer fourth-quarter guidance. The company did say that historically, its third and fourth quarters have been "roughly comparable."
"Last year was an anomaly and based upon what we see right now, there is no reason to expect anything that unusual this year," the company said.
Shares of Expeditors were losing $2.59, or 6.6%, to $36.40 in Instinet premarket trading, but volume was light.