UPS delivers weak guidance to investors; Stock drops

Reuters With CNBC.com
A UPS worker delivers packages in Chicago.
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United Parcel Service estimated quarterly profit below analysts' expectations, partly due to a shorter U.S. holiday season.

UPS shares fell 4 percent at $96.64 in premarket trading. (Click here to track the company's shares following the report.)

The world's No.1 package delivery company said a last-minute surge in online shopping and cold weather affected service.

The company said it delivered more than 31 million packages on Dec. 23—its highest ever and 13 percent more than the prior-year peak day.

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UPS blinded sided by 'high class' problem

However, the "highest delivery day" occurred six days later than expected and was 7.5 percent greater than planned, UPS said on Friday.

The 2013 U.S. holiday season had six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The company said it expects to report a profit of $1.25 per share for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.43, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

UPS is scheduled to report results on Jan. 30.

Shares of rival FedEx also traded lower following the UPS warning. (Click here for the latest quote.)

By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.