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FedEx shares have little 'upside surprise' potential this year, analyst says in downgrade

Key Points
  • "We see a far lower probability of a near/mid-term upside surprise to free cash flow," Susquehanna analyst Bascome Majors said of FedEx.
  • While Susquehanna believes FedEx's investment strategy is "strategically right-minded for the long-term," the firm believes the stock will remain under pressure in the near-term without a new source of cash flow, Majors said.
DHL containers and a FedEx airliner at Hong Kong International Airport, in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China.
Alexander Shcherbak | TASS | Getty Images

FedEx stock was downgraded to neutral from positive by Susquehanna Financial on Thursday, as the firm believes there are few catalysts to drive the name higher in the coming year.

"We see a far lower probability of a near/mid-term upside surprise to free cash flow," Susquehanna analyst Bascome Majors said of FedEx.

Majors gave three specific reasons for Susquehanna's downgrade: A shrinking payoff from FedEx's acquisition of European delivery service TNT Express, growing global economic uncertainty and capital expenditures "that should remain elevated" for the next two years, he said. While Susquehanna believes FedEx's investment strategy is "strategically right-minded for the long-term," the firm believes the stock will remain under pressure in the near-term without a new source of cash flow, Majors said.

"All eyes are on the company's ability to deliver EPS growth more in line with their history," Majors said.

FedEx shares slipped in premarket before rising 1 percent in midday trading from Wednesday's close of $176.09. Susquehanna also lowered its price target on FedEx to $192 a share from $211 a share.