United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) is joining the flow of big important companies reporting disappointing earnings. While the earnings were up 7.5% from a year ago, the 2012 guidance is suggesting even more slowing than had been anticipated. The freight and shipping giant reported earnings at $1.15 per share on less than a 2% sales gain to $13.35 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters was calling for earnings of $1.17 per share and sales of $13.7 billion in revenue.
What is going to disappoint more than today’s report is the guidance. UPS now sees earnings at $4.50 to $4.70 per share, which is well under the consensus of $4.83 EPS from Thomson Reuters. The company is blaming an increasing uncertainty in the United States, as well as the ongoing themes reported by many companies, such as weakness in Asia exports and the debt crisis in Europe.
UPS still expects to close on the TNT Express acquisition during the fourth quarter of this year. Now the company just has to hope that oil prices do not rise too much against it.
UPS shares are down 3.2% at $75.42 in the early trading indications against a 52-week range of $60.74 to $81.79.
Rival FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) is down another 2.3% this morning after its earnings had already been reported. In recent days it has seen its shares drop from about $93 down to $89.26 at Monday’s closing bell price.
JON C. OGG