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"Given the share price decline at FDX, we believe it may look to reduce capex to increase its planned buyback. The company could discuss such a plan when it reports on Tuesday," Bank of America analyst Ken Hoexter said in a note to investors.
FedEx could add as much as $2.5 billion stock buybacks "if it delays half its planned purchases of Boeing 767 and 777 aircraft by 2 years," Hoexter said. That would give FedEx shares an "upside surprise."
Hoexter did not mention the recent scrutiny of Boeing and its 737 Max planes following two deadly crashes in five months. While the 767 and 777 models do not appear to have major issues, Hoexter suggested FedEx could pause "the aircraft refresh" it's undergoing to improve its long term profits. FedEx is set to receive 35 Boeing 767s and seven 777s over the next two years.
"However, the near term slowing of purchases would come at the expense of its fleet refresh, which would delay the benefits to its improvement plan," Hoexter said.
FedEx closed 2.5 percent higher on Monday at $182.38 a share. The shares are off by 29 percent the last 12 months.