UPS Inc. reported a fourth-quarter net loss on a $3 billion retirement-plan charge but posted an adjusted operating profit for the period.
Its net loss after the charge was $1.75 billion, or $1.83 a share, compared with a profit of $725 million, or 74 cents, a year earlier.
Revenue rose to $14.6 billion from $14.2 billion a year earlier, UPS said Thursday.
Its adjusted operating profit for the quarter was $2 billion, or $1.32 per share. Hurricane Sandy reduced its quarterly earnings by about 5 cents per share, the company said.
For the full year, UPS earned $807 million, or 83 cents per share, down from $3.8 billion, or $3.84, in 2011. Revenue rose slightly to $54.1 billion.
Its supply chain and freight unit had a $541 million operating loss in the quarter due to the charge, but posted an adjusted $172 million profit. Revenue rose 4% to $2.4 billion.
Its less-than-truckload UPS Freight unit’s revenue rose 6.2% for the quarter, with LTL gross weight up 4.9%, while its freight forwarding unit “experienced revenue improvement on strong tonnage increases in international air freight,” UPS said.
“UPS delivered its best ever adjusted earnings per share with strong free cash flow, even in the midst of weaker than expected global economic conditions in 2012,” Kurt Kuehn, UPS’ chief financial officer, said in a statement.
“Economic growth for 2013 is expected to be below long-term trends,” he said, adding that UPS projects its full-year earnings per share to rise 6% to 12% over last year’s adjusted results.
Kuehn said that based on its “strong financial position, UPS has increased expected share repurchases for 2013 from $1.5 billion to $4 billion.”
UPS is ranked No. 1 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.