Why FedEx Failed to Deliver in Q1

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When FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Monday, the company posted $3.46 in earnings per share (EPS) and $17.1 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $3.82 in EPS and $16.88 billion in revenue, as well as the $2.51 per share and $15.3 billion reported in the same period of last year.

During the most recent quarter, operating income improved, benefitting from higher volumes, increased yields and a favorable net impact of fuel at all transportation segments. Net results benefited by $0.50 per diluted share as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, primarily from a lower statutory income tax rate.

Last year’s earnings included the estimated negative impacts of the NotPetya cyberattack affecting TNT Express ($300 million or $0.79 per diluted share) and Hurricane Harvey ($0.02 per diluted share).

Looking ahead to the fiscal 2019 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $17.20 to $17.80 and revenue growth of roughly 9%. Consensus estimates call for $17.33 in EPS and $70.9 billion in revenue for the year.

Frederick W. Smith, FedEx board chair and chief executive, commented:

FedEx delivered higher first-quarter earnings driven by solid execution of our business plan and a strong U.S. economy. We are very optimistic about our prospects for profitable growth and remain confident we will reach our goal to improve FedEx Express operating income by $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion in fiscal 2020 versus fiscal 2017.

Shares of FedEx closed Monday at $255.73, with a consensus analyst price target of $286.24 and a 52-week range of $214.17 to $274.66. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 2% at $250.81 in early trading indications Tuesday.