FedEx says record number of holiday deliveries are on track

By JOSH FUNKMarketsAssociated Press

A record number of holiday packages are on track to arrive this year, and the package delivery companies appear to be handling the load well.

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FedEx offered the latest update Tuesday on its busiest time of the year as it released its fiscal second quarter earnings report.

"We are on track for another record holiday-shipping season, and customer-service levels have been outstanding," FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith said. "We plan year around to meet the intense challenges of the peak season as average daily volumes can more than double."

Aside from some short-term delays at UPS last month because of a surge in online orders after Thanksgiving, few delivery problems have been reported this year. UPS restored normal delivery times after the initial surge.

So as long as consumers placed their orders in time, their gifts should make it on time, said Satish Jindel, founder and president of ShipMatrix, which tracks the shipping industry.

"There should be no concern about packages not getting there by Christmas Eve," Jindal said.

UPS spokesman Steve Gaut said UPS expects to deliver about 750 million packages during this holiday season, up from 712 million last year.

FedEx hasn't released an estimate of how packages it will handle during the holidays. ShipMatrix estimates that together FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service are delivering about 60 million packages a day during the holidays.

FedEx said Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings grew 11 percent to $775 million, or $2.84 per share. That's up from $700 million, or $2.59 per share.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said its earnings would be $3.18 per share if one-time costs were excluded.

The 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings per share of $2.87 per share, on average.

The package delivery company reported revenue of $16.31 billion. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $15.67 billion.

FedEx boosted its outlook for full-year earnings to a range of $12.70 to $13.30 per share. Previously, the company had predicted fiscal 2018 earnings would fall between $11.05 to $11.85.

The company's stock was up $3.36, or 1.4 percent, to $245.90 in extended trading after the release of the earnings report.

FedEx shares have increased 30 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased 20 percent.

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