FedEx profit soars with pandemic-fueled delivery demand

FILE PHOTO: A Federal Express truck is shown in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – U.S. delivery firm FedEx Corp on Thursday said quarterly profit jumped more than expected on higher prices and surging volume from pandemic-fueled home e-commerce deliveries.

FedEx shares have more than doubled in price since the pandemic forced government officials to shutter businesses and issue stay-at-home orders a year ago.

On Thursday they jumped 4.3% to $274.84 in extended trading after founder and Chief Executive Frederick Smith said he expected demand for the firm’s e-commerce and international express services to “remain very high for the foreseeable future.”

Fiscal third-quarter adjusted net income at the Memphis-based company soared 153% to $939 million, or $3.47 per share, versus the year-earlier period. Analysts expected earnings of $3.23 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue for the quarter ended Feb. 28 grew 23% to $21.5 billion.

The results came after severe winter weather in February affected operations at key facilities including at hubs in Memphis, Indianapolis and North Texas.

FedEx and rival United Parcel Service hiked prices to shelter profits after the pandemic hammered its high-margin shipments between businesses and unleashed a flood of deliveries of online orders – including bulky items like exercise bikes and sofas.

Average daily package volume for FedEx Ground, which counts Walmart among its top e-commerce shipping partners, jumped 25% to 13.2 million during the quarter. Revenue per package increased 11% to $9.72.

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