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FedEx’s profit jumps as business deliveries improved

Cathy Bussewitz  |  Associated Press

New York – FedEx’s profit jumped 67% in its latest quarter, as online shopping remained popular among customers avoiding stores and shipments between businesses improved.

The delivery giant reported Tuesday that it earned $1.25 billion during the three months that ended Aug. 31, FedEx’s fiscal first quarter. That was up from $745 million a year earlier.

Its revenue rose to $19.32 billion, up 13% from $17.05 billion in last year’s quarter.

Its earnings amounted to an adjusted $4.87 a share. That was well ahead of the $2.70 per share expected on average by Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet.

FedEx’s stock jumped 8% in after-hours trading.

Many people are shopping online during the pandemic, which is helping some delivery companies.

Many people are shopping online during the pandemic, which is boosting delivery companies.

“Not all facets of the economy are great right now, far from the case, but when you think about the rising tide that is e-commerce, it’s definitely a powerful thing for a company like FedEx to harness, given the delivery network they have that’s ready to go,” said Matt Arnold, industrials analyst for Edward Jones.

But delivery to homes is less profitable than those between businesses, and business deliveries slowed as the pandemic dragged on and some establishments remained shuttered.

The Memphis-based company did not provide an outlook for the full 2021 fiscal year.

“While business demand improved in the first quarter, continued uncertainties cloud our ability to forecast full-year earnings,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx’s chief financial officer.

Revenue in its core Express segment grew to $9.65 billion in the quarter, up from $8.95 billion at the same time last year. Its Ground service grew to $7.04 billion in revenue, up from $5.18 billion at the same time last year.

FedEx is raising its shipping rates by 4.9% for its Express, Ground and Home Delivery services and 4.9% to 5.9% for Freight, beginning in January.

It also has said it plans to hire up to 70,000 seasonal workers to handle extra holiday deliveries, a jump from 55,000 last year.