FedEx solid earnings boost financial markets

(TheDC/AP) — U.S. markets advanced Thursday after FedEx Corp. posted a 76 percent increase in second-quarter earnings. The overnight shipper is seen as a bellwether for the American economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 79 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,903 at noon Thursday. FedEx shares jumped 5 percent.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “FedEx has lately seen solid demand for its U.S. ground-shipping services, which has helped to offset softer express-shipping volume, particularly in Asia. The company’s freight unit, meanwhile, has shown steady signs of improvement as FedEx sheds lower-margin business.”

In a press release, FedEx said it earned a second-quarter profit of $497 million or “$1.57 per diluted share for the second quarter ended November 30. Last year’s second quarter earnings were $0.89 per diluted share … Excluding those one-time charges, earnings were $1.16 per diluted share a year ago.”

The Wall Street Journal noted that the 9.9 percent year-over-year increase in revenue was “just shy of the $10.61 billion estimate held by analysts.”

In a press release Thursday, the company said “FedEx Express is also delaying the delivery of 11 777F aircraft, two of which will be deferred from fiscal 2013, five from fiscal 2014 and one per year in fiscal 2015-2018, to better balance air network capacity to demand.”

The company also made public “FedEx Express has signed an agreement with The Boeing Company to purchase 27 new 767-300F aircraft, with three arriving in fiscal 2014 and six per year in fiscal 2015-2018. The 767s were selected as the best choice to begin replacing FedEx Express’s MD10 aircraft, some of which are more than 40 years old.”