FedEx Corp.'s (FDX) profits in its most recent fiscal quarter increased from a year earlier, but the company lowered expectations for the full year.
The shipping giant reported a profit of $692 million in the three-month period ending Aug. 31, or $2.42 per diluted share, compared to $653 million a year earlier, or $2.26 per share.
Revenue increased to $12.3 billion from $11.7 during the same time last year. Operating income increased to $1.14 billion from $1.06 billion during the same time.
"FedEx Corp. is performing solidly, given weaker-than-expected economic conditions, especially in manufacturing and global trade," said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx chairman, president and CEO.
Operating results rose compared to last year due to sharply increased operating income at FedEx Express, thanks to one additional operating day at each of the company’s transportation segments, the company said. It also cited continued positive effects from its profit improvement program.
These benefits were partially offset by higher incentive compensation accruals, higher self-insurance reserves and operating costs at FedEx Ground, and lower-than-anticipated volume at FedEx Freight. Fuel had a slightly negative net impact to operating income.
Here's how the various FedEx divisions stacked up during the quarter:
FedEx Freight reported revenue of $1.60 billion compared with $1.61 billion the same time a year ago. Operating income for the less-than-truckload arm of the company totaled $132 million, down 21% from $168 million a year ago, as salaries and employee benefits expense outpaced lower-than-anticipated volume, according to FedEx. Average daily shipments fell 1% due to weak industry demand. LTL revenue per shipment also was down 1%, as higher rates from yield initiatives were more than offset by lower fuel surcharges.
FedEx Express reported revenue of $6.59 billion, down 4% from last year’s $6.86 billion. Operating income totaled $545 million, up 45% from $377 million a year ago.
FedEx Ground reported quarterly revenue of $3.83 billion, up 29% from last year’s $2.96 billion. Operating income was $537 million, down 1% from $545 million a year ago.
FedEx now projects adjusted earnings for fiscal 2016 to be $10.40 to $10.90 per diluted share, down slightly from prior guidance of $10.60 to $11.10 per diluted share.
"Our new fiscal 2016 outlook is modestly lower than our initial forecast due primarily to weaker LTL industry demand and higher than expected self-insurance reserves and operating costs at FedEx Ground," said Alan B. Graf Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We still expect strong earnings growth this year, as we remain focused on executing our profit improvement program, leveraging e-commerce growth and enhancing our revenue quality."
Meantime, the company announced on Tuesday it is increasing shipping rates an average of 4.9% for its FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight subsidiaries effective Jan. 4, 2016.
The FedEx Freight rate change applies to eligible shipments within the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), between the contiguous U.S. and Canada, within Canada, between the contiguous U.S. and Mexico, and within Mexico.
FedEx is also increasing surcharges for shipments that exceed the published maximum dimensions, what it calls “unauthorized packages” in the FedEx Ground network, and updating certain fuel surcharge tables at FedEx Express and FedEx Ground effective Nov. 2, 2015.
Details of all changes to rates and surcharges are available on the company’s website.