×

UPS earnings beat the Street's estimates

  • Earnings per share: $1.32 vs. $1.29
  • Revenue: $15.32 vs. $15.17 billion
UPS delivery trucks
Roberto Schmidt | AFP | Getty Images
UPS delivery trucks

United Parcel Service on Thursday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations, despite pressure on its bottom line from fuel prices and a larger share of business coming from home delivery.

Shares were up slightly in morning trading.

Here's what UPS reported versus what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting:

  • Earnings per share: $1.32 vs. $1.29
  • Revenue: $15.32 vs. $15.17 billion

For the full year, UPS forecast earnings per share of $5.80 to $6.10, in line with the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $5.94.

The delivery behemoth said all segments contributed to a strong top line. Most importantly, continued investments in its logistics services are helping to keep profits high.

"We are accelerating investments to create the industry's leading smart global logistics network and value-creating portfolio," CEO David Abney said in a release. "UPS customers are benefiting from expanded capacity, choice and improved time-in-transit, while technology solutions continue to deliver efficiencies."

One example of expanded service is the company's new Saturday delivery program, which began rolling out this year. While the rollout cost the company $35 million this quarter, UPS is hoping it will give the company a leg up on competitors.

The service is now in 15 metro areas. By the holiday season, the company hopes to have Saturday delivery capability in 4,700 cities.

Higher fuel prices hurt the first-quarter results, costing the company $187 million, or a whopping 43 percent, more than in the first quarter of 2016.

The company is still waiting for President Donald Trump and Congress to make their moves on tax reform, infrastructure spending and trade deals. While many businesses are worried about the potential effects of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, UPS supports the idea.

"We obviously are strong supporters of trade, but we also know that NAFTA is almost a quarter of a century old," CFO Richard Peretz said on "Squawk on the Street." "So, to modernize NAFTA, I think, is a good thing."

Year-to-date performance of UPS

Peretz told CNBC in January that some of Trump's proposals, such as tax reform and infrastructure spending, could be good for business conditions.

The company has also been working to keep margins high in a world of e-commerce. Traditionally, business clients have been the most profitable, as trucks only had to make one stop to reach hundreds of people.

As e-commerce pushes more packages to private homes, UPS has taken a profit-margin hit. Not only is home delivery itself less profitable, but as juggernauts like Amazon put brick-and-mortar retail stores out of business, Peretz says that does cut UPS' number of business clients. Introduced late last year, an increased base-rate for packages is helping to counter this shift away from the profitable business-to-business side of its services.