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Earnings Roundup / Fedex

Profit falls 75% as sales slide

March 20, 2009|Times Wire Services

FedEx Corp. said Thursday that quarterly profit slid 75%, more than analysts expected, and sales fell for the first time in at least a decade.

FedEx Chief Executive Fred Smith said he didn't expect a "further significant decline" in the U.S. economy this year, however, boosting the company's shares almost 5%.

The Memphis, Tenn., company is seen as a bellwether for the U.S. economy because it delivers products as varied as clothing, electronics and auto parts. A need for companies to replenish depleted inventories later this year should prevent a further decline in the gross domestic product, Smith said.

Net income for the company's fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28 was $97 million, or 31 cents a share, down from $393 million, or $1.26, a year earlier, FedEx said. The average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg was for 46 cents a share. Revenue declined 14% to $8.14 billion.

FedEx said it expected earnings of 45 to 70 cents a share for the current period, the fiscal fourth quarter, and narrowed its full-year per-share earnings forecast to a range of $3.57 to $3.82 from $3.50 to $4.75.

Shares of FedEx rose $2.05, or 4.8%, to $45.10

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