The overnight package company said Wednesday that it earned $606 million, or $2.10 a share, in the fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated profit at $1.96 a share. Revenue rose 6% to $11.7 billion. Analysts had estimated $11.5 billion.
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In the same quarter a year earlier, FedEx earned $606 million, or $1.53 a share.
"FedEx reported strong first quarter results, as all three of our transportation segments drove higher revenues and improved profitability year over year," said CFO Alan Graf, in a prepared statement. "Our profit improvement programs are progressing as planned and we continue to expect strong earnings growth this."
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CEO Fred Smith credited "very strong performance at FedEx Ground, solid volume and revenue increases at FedEx Freight and healthy growth in U.S. domestic volume at FedEx Express."
Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its fiscal 2015 earnings forecast of $8.50 to $9.00 per diluted share.
In a report issued Tuesday, Buckingham Research analyst Jeffrey Kaufman anticipated a better-than-expected quarter "due to the strong domestic ground freight environment and lower fuel prices throughout the first fiscal quarter."
However, Kaufman has a neutral rating and a 12-month price target of $154. He wrote that "longer term, we believe margin expectations at Express are too high." He noted that Asia airfreight export volumes grew 7.5% in August, compared with 1.5% growth in Europe.