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FedEx beats quarterly earnings and revenue estimates but cites continued uncertainty of Covid pandemic

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Key Points
  • FedEx reported better-than-expected revenue of $20.6 billion for its most recent quarter as the pandemic continues to bolster package deliveries.
  • The company did not provide an earnings forecast for fiscal 2021, citing continued uncertainty.
  • Average daily package volume for FedEx Ground, which runs e-commerce deliveries, climbed 29% to 12.3 million for the quarter.
A FedEx worker unloads packages from his delivery truck on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News

FedEx generated better-than-expected profits and revenue during its most recent quarter as the coronavirus pandemic continues to bolster high volumes of U.S. and international package deliveries, the company said Thursday.

The package delivery service not provide an earnings forecast for fiscal 2021, citing continued uncertainty and higher costs stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares of the company fell more than 3.5% in after-hours trading.

Here's how FedEx did compared with what investors are expecting for the fiscal second-quarter 2021, which ended Nov. 30, based on estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted EPS: $4.83 per share vs. $4.01 expected.
  • Revenue: $20.6 billion vs. $19.45 billion expected.

"While the overall environment remains uncertain, we expect earnings growth in the second half of fiscal 2021 driven by the anticipated heightened demand for our services as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities," Chief Financial Officer Michael Lenz said in the earnings release.

To prevent a rush of packages being sent at any one time, retailers had attempted to push up the start of the holiday shopping season this year by offering discounts as early as October. Average daily package volume for FedEx Ground, which runs e-commerce deliveries, climbed 29% to 12.3 million, and revenue per package jumped 7% to $9.42 for the quarter.

The Memphis-based company has become a key component of the United States' efforts to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine by partnering with the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed to ship doses alongside UPS following emergency authorization for Pfizer's drug last week.

The vaccine deliveries come as consumers shop online at record levels, though FedEx has said it should have enough capacity to handle the shipments amid the peak holiday shipping season.

Correction: This article was corrected to reflect FedEx reported revenue per package of $9.42 for the quarter. An earlier version misstated that figure.

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