FedEx Stock Surges as Earnings Get a Boost From Cost-Cutting Efforts

Shipping Giant Also Announced New $5 Billion Stock Buyback Program
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Key Takeaways

  • FedEx stock soared Friday after the company late Thursday released fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, as cost-cutting efforts feed through to the bottom line. FedEx was the top gainer on the S&P 500 Friday.
  • Revenue was lower, as the peak levels of demand FedEx reached during the pandemic have decreased for several consecutive quarters.
  • FedEx bought back $1 billion of its own stock in the third quarter, plans to buy back another $500 million in the fourth quarter, and approved a new $5 billion buyback program.

FedEx (FDX) shares soared Friday and were the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 after the logistics company reported quarterly earnings that topped analysts' expectations, as ongoing cost-cutting efforts gave a boost to the bottom line.

The shipping giant late Thursday posted adjusted net income of $966 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.86 for the third quarter of fiscal 2024. Both numbers were higher than the year-earlier quarter and well ahead of estimates compiled by Visible Alpha.

FedEx said that its efforts to trim costs and improve efficiency helped offset a decline in revenue, which fell to $21.7 billion from $22.2 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue has decreased year-over-year for several consecutive quarters as FedEx has struggled to maintain the level of demand for its services that hit all-time highs during the pandemic.

“FedEx delivered another quarter of improved profitability in what remains a difficult demand environment, reflecting outstanding service and continued benefits from DRIVE,” FedEx Chief Executive Officer Raj Subramaniam said, referring to the program announced almost a year ago to cut $4 billion in costs by 2025.

"DRIVE is having a real impact, supporting both operating income growth and margin expansion," Chief Financial Officer John Dietrich said in the earnings release.
FedEx said it is reducing its planned capital spending for full-year fiscal 2024 to $5.4 billion, compared with the previously announced $5.7 billion. The company sees permanent cost reductions related to the DRIVE program of $1.8 billion in 2024.
FedEx also narrowed its guidance for full-year adjusted EPS to $17.25 to $18.25 compared to a prior range of $17 to $18.50, The company forecasts a low-single-digit decline in full-year revenue compared with fiscal 2023.
The company's board approved a new $5 billion stock buyback program after repurchasing $1 billion of its own stock in the third quarter, and FedEx said it plans to buy back another $500 million in the fourth quarter.
FedEx shares gained 7.4% Friday to finish the week at $284.32, its highest close since July 2021.

UPDATE—March 22, 2024: This article has been updated with closing share price information and a new photo.

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  1. FedEx Corporation. "."
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