UPS

(UPS) - Get Report

said third-quarter earnings rose slightly, but that fourth-quarter results would fall below analysts' estimates.

Recently, shares were down $1.62, or 2.5%, at $62.56 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.

The Atlanta-based company earned $578 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $568 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 54 cents a share.

Revenue was $7.75 billion, up 4% from last year's $7.4 billion.

UPS said operating profit in its international-business segment was strong at $65 million, compared with last year's loss of $4 million. However, operating profit in the domestic U.S. business declined 9.6% to $809 million, and average daily package volume declined 2.1% to 11.7 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company expects EPS in a range of 55 cents to 60 cents, while analysts expect 61 cents, on average.

Total 2003 earnings are expected to grow by around 13%, the company said. Analysts have predicted the company will earn $2.50 a share.