ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- UPS ( UPS) reaffirmed the fourth-quarter earnings it pre-reported two weeks ago, reiterating that higher-than-expected volume and winter storms boosted operating costs and reduced net income.
The overnight package company said excluding items it earned $1.17 billion, or $1.25 a share. Before UPS pre-reported, analysts had estimated earnings of $1.43 a share. Revenue rose 2.8% to $15 billion. Analysts were estimating $15.2 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, UPS earned $1.32 a share.
"As the retail market shifts to a direct-to-consumer model, more and more companies are leveraging UPS solutions," said CEO Scott Davis, in a prepared statement. "As a result, we experienced an unprecedented increase in volume, exceeding even our most optimistic plans.
"The increased volume put a strain on our network, causing delays. In response, UPS deployed additional people and equipment, placing a greater emphasis on service than cost," Davis said. "UPS will make the necessary investments and operational improvements to ensure we meet the needs of the marketplace."
Looking ahead, the company expects 2014 earnings per share to be within a range of $5.05 to $5.30, an increase of 11% to 16% over 2013 adjusted results. Analysts forecast earnings of $5.31 a share.
"While the year ended on a challenging note, we are confident in our ability to adapt and we expect much better results in 2014," said Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn, UPS chief financial officer. "UPS expects balanced profitability growth across all segments in a slightly better economic environment."
During the holiday period, global daily deliveries exceeded expectations by surpassing 29 million packages on five days, with peak volume exceeding 31 million on Dec. 23. Also during this period, UPS experienced 10 days with delivery volume that exceeded the company's previous high.