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UPS posts fourth-quarter profit in line with estimates

United Parcel Service on Thursday posted fourth-quarter profit that met expectations and said a surge in online shopping just before Christmas led to late deliveries and higher costs.

UPS, the biggest U.S. courier company, said earlier in the month it expected diluted earnings of $1.25 per share, well short of the average analyst estimate of $1.43 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts revised their estimates after the company warning. On Thursday, UPS posted net earnings of $1.2 billion, or $1.25 a share, compared with a net loss of $1.7 billion, or $1.83 a share, last year.

The latest EPS matched the revised estimates.

Shares of the Atlanta-based company closed at $95.33 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, and were slightly higher in premarket trading Thursday. (Click here to track the company's shares following the report.)

By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.