FedEx Surges the Most in 16 Months After Profit Blows Past Analysts' Estimates
(Bloomberg) -- FedEx Corp. jumped the most since the summer of 2020 after raising its outlook and posting earnings that handily beat analysts’ estimates, thanks to record profit at its Express package business.
All eyes now will be trained on the company’s Ground unit, which has suffered from worker shortages. The company says it has that covered, too.
Chief Operating Officer Raj Subramaniam boldly predicted that the business will post profit margins of 10% or more over the next two quarters. The labor shortage will subside and higher prices, surging growth in e-commerce and investment in facilities and technology will drive up earnings, he said.
“We are in the middle of a very robust market and a pricing environment,” he told analysts after the courier reported results late Thursday.
FedEx surged 6.3% to $253.59 at 10:22 a.m. Friday in New York after climbing as much as 9.2%, the most intraday since August 2020. The stock had declined 8.1% this year through Thursday’s close.
The reputation of Subramaniam, who’s been tagged to succeed founder Fred Smith as chief executive officer eventually, could depend on how his forecast pans out.
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The prediction on Ground profit margin is “a metric that we feel is critical to hit, given consternation among investors,” Tyler Brown, an analyst at Raymond James, said in a note to investors. “While FedEx is perhaps finding its footing, we remain in a ‘wait and see’ mode.”
Additional costs of $470 million related to the worker shortage in the latest quarter caused profit margin at the Ground unit to sink to 5.8%, the lowest since 2004, Brown said.
Investors are eager for less drama after FedEx cut its guidance in September and then raised it on Thursday.
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