In a positive sign for the global economic, shipping giant UPS gave an upbeat earnings report today and reiterated its full year guidance. Sales in the first quarter increased more than 6% and were $150 million more than analysts expected. Earnings per share was $1.32 versus $1.27 last year and the $1.29 expected by analysts.
Revenue strength was seen across all of UPS’ divisions, with US small parcel revenue increasing by 5%, international small parcel increasing by 5%, and the supply chain and freight division increasing by more than 12%. Operating profits were hurt by increasing fuel costs in the United States and unfavorable currency changes internationally. Earnings per share was higher largely because of on-going stock repurchases by the company. In the first quarter, UPS repurchased 4.2 million shares for $450 million.
On a conference call with analysts, UPS CEO David Abney gave an upbeat view on economic growth in the United States, stating, “the U.S. economic outlook has improved over the last few months and the growth is expected to move slightly higher for the remainder of the year. Consumer confidence is at a 15-year high and the labor market has tightened.” Abney also touted the success of recent service enhancements and technology investments.
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