UPS Profit Falls on Pension Restructure

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- UPS ( UPS) said third-quarter net income fell due primarily to a pension restructuring, even as its its international profit rose.

Excluding items, the largest overnight package carrier said it earned $1.06 a share, in line with estimates from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue slipped slightly to $13.07 billion, below estimates of $13.3 billion. During the same period a year earlier, revenue totaled $13.17.

Including an after-tax, non-cash charge of $559 associated with the restructuring of pension liabilities, UPS earned 48 cents a share, down from $1.09. Net income was $469 million, down from $1.1 billion.

The company said Tuesday its international segment generated $449 million in operating profit, the third best quarter in its history, reflecting a 7.7% gain over the same quarter a year earlier. The improvement appeared to reflect UPS adjustments rather than any improvement in global economic conditions, although Asia export volume did increase.

"Our results were achieved in an environment of slowing global trade and changing market dynamics," said CEO Scott Davis, while Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said, "UPS performance this quarter reflects the ability of our global network to adapt to soft macro conditions."

The company also updated full-year guidance to between $4.55 and $4.65 a share, citing "greater confidence in fourth quarter execution." Analysts were estimating $4.56 a share.

"While there is some uncertainty around the magnitude of the holiday shopping season, we are confident in UPS's ability to deliver," said Kuehn in a prepared statement. The alternation was relatively minor, as UPS narrowed the range of its guidance but maintained the previous midpoint. The new range indicates the company now expects earnings to increase 5% to 7% from 2011 results.

On the domestic side, revenue increased by $94 million to $7.86 billion. Adjusted operating profit fell by $21 million, reflecting one fewer operating day and the timing of the fuel surcharge. International package revenue fell 3.7% to $2.94 billion, reflecting lower fuel surcharges and currency, exceeding the benefit of 1.2% growth in daily export volume.

For the first time in several quarters, Asia exhibited growth in export package volume, benefiting from product launches and easier comparisons, the company said. The rate of growth in Europe slowed but remained positive.

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

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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