FedEx Ground Margin Improves to 17.9%; FedEx Express Announces 2012 Rate Increase
MEMPHIS, Tenn., September 22, 2011 … FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) today reported earnings of $1.46 per diluted share for the first quarter ended August 31, compared to $1.20 per diluted share a year ago, a year-over-year increase of 22%.
“Revenue and earnings increased significantly in the quarter due to strong FedEx Ground performance, improved FedEx Freight results and the continued success of the company’s yield management actions,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “While the economic environment is challenging, we remain confident FedEx will improve earnings, margins and cash flows this fiscal year.”
First Quarter Results
FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the first quarter:
• Revenue of $10.52 billion, up 11% from $9.46 billion the previous year
• Operating income of $737 million, up 17% from $628 million last year
• Operating margin of 7.0%, up from 6.6% the previous year
• Net income of $464 million, up 22% from last year’s $380 million
During the quarter, improved FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight results offset the effect of slowing global economic growth, which especially impacted volume levels and drove lower productivity at FedEx Express. Results also reflect wage increases, higher funding of incentive compensation programs and the reinstatement of full 401(k) company-matching contributions.
FedEx projects earnings to be $1.40 to $1.60 per diluted share in the second quarter and $6.25 to $6.75 per diluted share for fiscal 2012, compared to the company’s previous full year forecast of $6.35 to $6.85 per diluted share. This guidance assumes the current market outlook for fuel prices and moderate growth in the global economy. The company reported earnings of $0.89 per diluted share in last year’s second quarter, which included charges of $0.27 per diluted share. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2012 remains $4.2 billion.
“The U.S. and global economy grew at a slower rate than we anticipated during the quarter,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “While FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight achieved improved operating results despite lower than expected growth, the more rapid decline in demand for FedEx Express services, particularly from Asia, outpaced our ability to reduce operating costs. We have slightly reduced our earnings forecast to reflect current business conditions and are aggressively working to adjust our cost structure to match demand levels.”
The company plans to begin acquiring FedEx common shares. A total of 5.7 million shares may be repurchased under existing share repurchase authorizations. The repurchases will be subject to market conditions and will be made from time to time either in the open market or through private transactions in accordance with the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company’s repurchase program may be suspended, discontinued or resumed at any time.
2012 Rate Increases
FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by a net average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services effective January 2, 2012. The full average rate increase of 5.9% will be partially offset by adjusting the fuel price threshold at which the fuel surcharge begins, reducing the fuel surcharge by two percentage points. The FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost pricing changes for 2012 will be announced later this year. FedEx Freight implemented a 6.75% general rate increase on September 6, 2011.
FedEx Express Segment
For the first quarter, the FedEx Express segment reported:
• Revenue of $6.59 billion, up 12% from last year’s $5.91 billion
• Operating income of $288 million, down 19% from $357 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 4.4%, down from 6.0% the previous year
U.S. domestic revenue per package grew 13% due to higher fuel surcharges, yield management actions and increased weight per package, while average daily package volume declined 3%. FedEx International Priority® (IP) revenue per package grew 16% due to higher fuel surcharges, the favorable impact of exchange rates, yield management actions and increased weight per package. IP average daily package volume decreased 4% driven by declines from Asia. IP freight pounds increased 3% with revenue per pound up 7% due to higher fuel surcharges and the favorable impact of exchange rates. In total, IP package and freight pounds increased 2% and revenue increased 11% year-over-year.
Operating income and margin decreased as package volume declines accelerated during the quarter due to slowing global economic growth. The package volume declines were more pronounced in certain premium services. Expense reductions related to volume also accelerated during the quarter but only partially offset increases in wages, incentive compensation programs, benefits and fixed costs.
FedEx Ground Segment
For the first quarter, the FedEx Ground segment reported:
• Revenue of $2.28 billion, up 16% from last year’s $1.96 billion
• Operating income of $407 million, up 42% from $287 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 17.9%, up from 14.6% the previous year
FedEx Ground average daily package volume grew 5% in the first quarter driven by increases in the business-to-business market as well as the FedEx Home Delivery service. Revenue per package increased 9% primarily due to higher fuel surcharges and yield management actions. FedEx SmartPost average daily volume increased 29% due to growth in e-commerce and gains in market share. FedEx SmartPost revenue per package increased 5% primarily due to increased fuel surcharges.
Operating income and margin increased primarily due to higher package yield and increased volume.
FedEx Freight Segment
For the first quarter, the FedEx Freight segment reported:
• Revenue of $1.33 billion, up 6% from last year’s $1.26 billion.
• Operating income of $42 million, compared with an operating loss of $16 million a year ago
• Operating margin of 3.2%, up from (1.3%) the previous year
Less-than-truckload (LTL) yield increased 11% primarily due to higher LTL fuel surcharges and ongoing yield management actions. LTL average daily shipments decreased 7% as a result of the yield management actions.
Operating income in the quarter was driven by strong yield growth and efficiencies resulting from the January 30, 2011 combination of the FedEx Freight and FedEx National LTL operations.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $40 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
Additional information and operating data are contained in the company’s annual report, Form 10-K, Form 10-Qs and first quarter fiscal 2012 Statistical Book. These materials, as well as a Webcast of the earnings release conference call to be held at 8:30 a.m. EDT on September 22 are available on the company’s Web site at investors.fedex.com. A replay of the conference call Webcast will be posted on our Web site following the call.