United Parcel Service (UPS) reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts' forecasts on Thursday, helped by improvement in ground and export shipments.
UPS)Immediately after the earnings announcement, the company's shares fell slightly in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for UPS:
As cost-conscious consumers shift from air express to slower and cheaper modes of shipping, UPS's stronger North American domestic network puts it in a better position than rival FedEx, which focuses more international air shipments.
The world's largest package-delivery company posted first-quarter earnings excluding items of $1.04 per share, up from $1 a share in the year-earlier period.
Revenue increased to $13.43 billion from $13.14 billion a year ago.
Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of $1.01 a share on $13.46 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
The company said it benefited from a stronger-than-expected post- holiday season in January. Global export volume increased 3.8 percent, driven by an 8 percent increase in shipments to Asia.
In the quarter, UPS delivered 16.2 million packages a day, up 4.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Separately, UPS announced plans to purchase Hungary-based pharmaceutical logistics company CEMELOG Zrt. UPS expects to complete the transaction in the second quarter of 2013,
UPS dropped its $7 billion bid for Dutch delivery firm TNT Express in January after European regulators said they would veto the deal on antitrust concerns.
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