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UPS Delivers Another Quarterly Earnings Beat, Despite On-Paper Loss

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United Parcel Service  (UPS)  posted a $3 billion-plus loss for its fourth quarter, though still topped analysts' forecasts on an adjusted basis as the pandemic continued to drive consumers and businesses to rely on Big Brown.

Atlanta-based UPS posted adjusted earnings of $2.66 a share vs. $2.11 in the comparable year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $2.14 a share.

Including $5.6 billion in charges related to pension adjustment costs and other factors including taxes and the sale of UPS Freight, the company lost $3.3 billion, or $3.75 a share, vs. a loss of 12 cents in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 21% to $24.9 billion, a full $2 billion above the $22.9 billion analysts were forecasting. In the U.S., adjusted operating profit came in at $1.38 billion vs. $1.21 billion last year; internationally, adjusted operating profit was $1.16 billion million vs. $809 million.

Given continued economic uncertainty due to the global pandemic, UPS said it wasn't providing revenue or diluted earnings per share guidance, though did provide full-year guidance for capital allocation, which it expects to be around $4 billion. UPS said it has no plans to repurchase shares or access the debt capital markets in 2021.

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