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United Parcel Service earnings beat the Street

United Parcel Service on Friday reported earnings and revenue that topped analysts' expectations, driven by robust U.S. consumer and business demand and strong growth in Asia. The company's top executive also said that after a challenging holiday period last year the firm is ready for the 2014 peak season.

After the announcement, shares for the company rose by 1.5 percent in premarket trading. (Get the latest quote here.)

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The Atlanta-based company confirmed its full-year outlook, forecasting earnings of $4.90 to $5.00 a share.

The shipment company posted earnings of $1.32 per share on revenue of $14.29 billion.

A woman walks past the logo of United Parcel Service in Chicago, Illinois.
Jim Young | Reuters
A woman walks past the logo of United Parcel Service in Chicago, Illinois.

Last year, UPS reported earnings per share of $1.16 on revenue of $13.52 billion.

Wall Street had expected UPS to deliver quarterly earnings of $1.28 per share on revenue of $14.2 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

UPS, the world's largest shipping company, and its main rival, FedEx, both considered U.S. economic bellwethers, are heading into their busiest season of the year as the U.S. holidays approach.

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Last year a last-minute surge in online consumer promotions caused many packages to remain undelivered on Christmas Eve. The problems especially affected UPS, which has invested $500 million to boost its infrastructure to handle the holiday season this year.

"We expect another robust peak season and are confident our network is prepared to operate at the highest level," UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said in a statement.

The world's biggest courier company announced plans to raise rates an average of 4.9 percent for ground, air, international, UPS Freight, and UPS air freight shipping services for 2015. The hike will begin December 29 in U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

United Parcel Service cut its earnings forecast for the year in July, announcing that the company would invest $175 million to boost capacity in preparation for the busy holidays. Last Christmas, UPS faced criticism when it was not equipped to handle a surge in online shopping, which caused major delays.

Daily package volumes were up 6.9 percent on the year thanks to shipments between businesses and to consumers.

The package delivery company said it expected package shipments to rise 11 percent in December over the same period in 2013.

Citi Research analyst Christian Wetherbee wrote in a note for clients that the company's outlook "looks a bit soft" and is below Citi's estimate. This implies that "while holiday volume will grow 11 percent, costs may be elevated," he added.

—CNBC's Hailey Lee and Reuters contributed to this report.