FedEx Corp. indicated Thursday that the global economic recovery remains uneven. It touted strength in its international shipping operations while moving to fix the weak spot in its business: its money-losing U.S. trucking business.
FedEx did raise its financial outlook for the full fiscal year after its first-quarter net income doubled. But the projections for the second quarter and full year fell shy of Wall Street expectations, and the stock dropped almost 3 percent in premarket trading.
Growth in international air shipments has been driving FedEx’s results lately. That continued in the first quarter. But the FedEx Freight segment lost money again as demand for large items like refrigerators and other appliances continues to be weak. As it competes with other trucking companies to ship a limited amount of freight, FedEx has been forced to forgo the rate increases that are helping its other segments grow.
FedEx will combine its FedEx Freight and FedEx National less-than-truckload operations on Jan. 30, closing 100 facilities and cutting 1,700 workers. FedEx says the move, along with other cost cuts, will ensure the trucking business is profitable next year.
Less-than-truckload shippers take goods from many different manufacturers and consolidate them into a single truck for delivery.
The move suggests that big companies like FedEx, which is a bellwether for broader economic health, are feeling that the global economy still has a way to go for a full recovery.
The world’s second-largest package delivery company now expects to earn between $1.15 and $1.35 per share for the quarter ending in November, below analysts’ expectations of $1.36 per share.
For the full fiscal year that ends in May, the company now expects net income of $4.80 to $5.25 per share. That’s up from its estimate of $4.60 to $5.20 per share in July but some analysts were forecasting earnings as high as $5.60 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Memphis, Tenn., company earned $380 million, or $1.20 per share in the fiscal first-quarter that ended in August, compared with $181 million, or 58 cents per share a year ago. That’s slightly under the $1.21 per share that Wall Street expected.
The reinstatement of some employee compensation programs, higher pension, medical and aircraft maintenance expenses, and a loss at FedEx Freight countered improvements at its Express and Ground operations.
Revenue rose 18 percent to $9.46 billion.
FedEx shares fell 2.9 percent to $83.45 in premarket trading.
McAuleys World Comments:
This article is all about what Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich would call “The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits from Jobs”… search for Reich’s article of that name.
Reports of quarterly profits by multinational corporations and a “phantom” recovery in the DJIA is an unreliable indicator of an American economic recovery… the record profits being reported by many DJIA companies have nothing to do with American business operations … Fed Ex being the latest example … There is nothing wrong with Fed Ex or GM posting a profit from overseas operations … the problems arise when the politicos and the press try to claim an “American Recovery” based on business growth in Red China or the Far East … or to claim an American Recovery, that is not only “jobless”, but is based on policies that continue to ship American Jobs and manufacturing capacity overseas ….
Even Clinton’s Labor Secretary Reich noted that $30 billion of the GM “bailout” went to create jobs in Red China before he stated, “GM officials say no American taxpayer money is being used to expand in China. But money is fungible. Because of our generosity, GM can now use the dollars it doesn’t have to spend in the United States meeting its American payrolls and repaying its creditors, for new investments in China.”
Reich went on to say, “GM now sells more cars in China than it does in the US, but makes most of them there. The company now employs 32,000 hourly workers in China. But only 52,000 GM hourly workers remain in the United States – down from 468,000 in 1970.”
My research would indicate that GM now employees 40,000 in China and 48,000 in America. By 2012 GM will employ more people in China than in the US – what are the implications for GM’s pension and medical fund liabilities …
Since Reich’s article was published GM has transferred control of GM-China to the Chinese Government for a 1 time payment of $85 million dollars, shielding any of the GM/China profit from American Taxation …
Profits are not “evil” they are the reason a Company exists … however, quarterly profit announcements are not a reliable indication or “bell weather” of how the US economy has rebounded …
We need to re-examine Governmental policies and stewardship that allows $30 billion dollars of taxpayer money, money intended to “stimulate” the American economy and create American jobs, to be used to expand auto production in China … and then have the Government’s handpicked GM leadership team transfer control of a $30 billion dollar investment for a single $85 million dollar payment from the Chinese Government … GM will sell 2 million cars in China in 2010, GM transferred control of it’s Chinese operations, in perpetuity, for the price of $42.50 per 2010 unit …