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UPS posts bigger quarterly profit, sees strong holiday volumes

Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

United Parcel Service posted a bigger quarterly profit, led by increased demand in domestic ground shipments, and the courier company said it expects online sales to boost holiday volume.

Shipment volume and forecasts at UPS, along with rival FedEx, are closely watched by Wall Street and considered an indication of overall economic health because of the vast amount of goods they transport.

(Read more: FedEx earnings, revenue tick above Street forecast)

For this year's holiday season, UPS said it expects peak season daily volume to increase by 8 percent, with pick-up volumes for Cyber Monday increasing 10 percent. Earlier in the week, rival FedEx forecast an 11 percent rise for the same day, the Monday after Thanksgiving that is traditionally a big day for online holiday sales.

Does FedEx deliver?

For the third quarter, the Atlanta-based company earned $1.10 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared with $469 million or 48 cents a share a year earlier.

Revenue came in at $13.52 billion, up 3.4 percent over last year, mainly helped by U.S. e-commerce shipments and strong European export growth.

(Read more: The earnings excuse you'll hear everywhere)

Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to earn $1.15 a share, on revenue of $13.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for UPS.)

By Reuters