FedEx Misses Estimates as Net Falls 12%

MEMPHIS, TENN. ( TheStreet) -- FedEx ( FDX) missed Wall Street estimates as net income fell due to persistent global weakness and the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Nevertheless, shares were rising 75 cents to $93.11 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

The overnight package carrier said it earned $438 million, or $1.39 a share, in the fiscal second quarter ended Nov. 30; analysts had estimated $1.41 a share. Revenue rose 5% to $11.1 billion; analysts had expected $10.84 billion.

In the same quarter a year earlier, FedEx earned $497 million, or $1.57 a share.

This quarter, Hurricane Sandy had an impact of 11 cents a share due to reduced shipping volumes and incremental operating costs.

"Operating income for the quarter improved at FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground due to increased volumes and higher yields, while persistent weakness in the global economy and increased demand for lower-yielding international services limited profits at FedEx Express," said CEO Fred Smith, in a prepared statement.

"Earnings also were negatively impacted by disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy," Smith said. The company also had a net negative impact from the timing lag in its fuel price adjustments.

" We are hard at work on another record-setting holiday shipping season, driven by the continued growth of e-commerce," Smith said.

Overall operating income fell 8% to $718 million. Operating margin was 6.5%, down from 7.4%.

Looking ahead, FedEx projected earnings to be $1.25 to $1.45 per diluted share in the third quarter, in line with estimates, and it reaffirmed its forecast of $6.20 to $6.60 per diluted share for fiscal 2013 before charges related to the company's previously announced voluntary buyout program. Analysts are estimating $5.90 to $6.80 for fiscal 2013. Buyout costs could range from $1.09 to $1.29 per share and could total $550 million to $650 million.

"We are steadfastly committed to the $1.7 billion of annual profit improvement actions, primarily at FedEx Express, which we announced in October," said Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf, in a prepared statement.

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

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

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