FedEx Earnings Rise 47 Percent on Ground, Intl' Business

The FedEx Corp. (FDX) reported a 47 percent increase in fourth quarter earnings Wednesday, citing continued growth in ground deliveries and international express shipments.

The Memphis-based package delivery company earned $412 million, or $1.36 per share, in the three months ended May 31, up from $280 million, or 92 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The earnings report includes a 1 cent per share cost of a job reduction program and a 4-cent per share benefit for a reduction in the effective income tax rate. Excluding these one-time items, FedEx earned $1.33 per share, matching the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose to $7.04 billion from $5.83 billion a year ago.

Average daily package volume for FedEx Express (search) and FedEx Ground (search) grew by 7 percent for the quarter. FedEx also said revenue per package increased at Express and Ground, two of the company's major four divisions.

For the 2004 fiscal year, FedEx earned $838 million, or $2.76 per share, up from $830 million, or $2.74 per share, in the 2003 fiscal year. Revenue for the year rose to $24.7 billion from $22.5 billion a year earlier.

FedEx forecast earnings of 90 cents to $1 per share for the first quarter of 2005, with earnings per share for the year at $4.20 to $4.40 a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 80 cents a share in the first quarter and $4.27 a share or the year.

FedEx shares rose 72 cents at $79.15 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).