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FedEx earnings and sales miss expectations, company guides lower

FedEx (FDX) reported first-quarter results that missed consensus expectations and lowered guidance for the fiscal 2020 year, with the shipping giant underscoring the ongoing impact of the trade war and loss of business from Amazon (AMZN) on its financial performance.

Here were the major results from the report, compared to consensus expectations compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Revenue: $17.05 billion vs. $17.06 billion expected

  • Adj. earnings: $3.05 per share, vs. $3.16 per share expected

“Our performance continues to be negatively impacted by a weakening global macro environment driven by increasing trade tensions and policy uncertainty,” Fred Smith, FedEx chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“Despite these challenges, we are positioning FedEx to leverage future growth opportunities as we continue the integration of TNT Express, enhance FedEx Ground residential delivery capabilities and modernize the FedEx Express air fleet and hub operations,” he added.

Shares of FedEx fell more than 8% as of 4:07 p.m. ET, just after the report was released.

FedEx also lowered its fiscal 2020 earnings forecast, “as the company’s revenue outlook has been reduced due to increased trade tensions and additional weakening of global economic conditions since the company’s initial fiscal 2020 forecast in June,” it said in a statement.

The company forecasts earnings of between $10.00 to $12.00 per share for the full fiscal year, excluding some items and before an accounting adjustment for its mark-to-market retirement plan. Meanwhile, FedEx reiterated its forecast for 2020 capital expenditures of $5.9 billion.

“FedEx is implementing additional cost-reduction initiatives to mitigate the effects of macroeconomic uncertainty, including post-peak reductions to the global FedEx Express air network to better match capacity with demand,” CFO Alan B. Graf, Jr., said in a statement. “However, we are continuing to make strategic investments to improve our capabilities and efficiency, which we expect will drive long-term increases in earnings, margins, cash flows and returns.”

The disappointing results come during an already trying time for FedEx, which in recent quarters has continually pointed to unresolved trade tensions and a weak global growth outlook as sources of uncertainty for the company heading into 2020.

Other concerns about FedEx’s core shipping business have put investors on edge over the future prospects of the company, especially as competition in the delivery space continues to ramp.

FedEx in August severed ties with Amazon by announcing it would be ending its ground shipping contract with the e-commerce giant, after earlier in June saying it would allow its FedEx Express agreement with Amazon to expire without renewal as well. In building out its own delivery services as of late, Amazon has increasingly become a competitor to FedEx, which asserted that the tech behemoth comprised just 1.3% of its overall annual revenue. Peer delivery service UPS (UPS), however, has maintained its relationship with Amazon.

During an earnings call Tuesday, FedEx’s Graf said that “the loss of volume from Amazon had a negative impact to the quarter.”

FedEx reported results for 1Q 2020 after market close Tuesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, FedEx has also grappled with a long-drawn-out integration of the Dutch courier company TNT, which the Memphis, Tennessee-based company acquired in 2016 for more than $4 billion. The company also said that this year’s consolidated results were adjusted for TNT Express integration expenses of $71 million, or 21 cents per diluted share.

During the call with analysts Tuesday, Graf acknowledged the company was “late and over budget” on the TNT integration. Smith provided an updated timeline for integration of TNT, saying that FedEx was “well on [its] way to achieving full ground interoperability” in its European pickup and delivery networks in Europe by the end of May 2020.

Earlier Tuesday, FedEx announced it would be increasing rates on a host of consumer shipping services starting in January 2020, but would mostly avoid applying residential surcharges during this year’s holiday season, except on shipments that are oversized, unauthorized or requiring additional handling.

The hike to shipping rates will comprise an average of 4.9% price increase for U.S. Express, Ground and Home Delivery services, along with an average 5.9% increase to FedEx Freight rates, the company said.

Shares of FedEx, up 6% for the year-to-date through Tuesday’s close, have underperformed against major peers. UPS’s stock has risen more than 24%, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average (^DJT) has risen 17%.

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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