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FedEx Corp. reported a surge in bottom-line results for its fiscal fourth quarter as e-commerce continued to fuel demand for the company’s services.
Quarterly net income rose to $1.87 billion, or $6.88 a share, compared with a Q4 2020 loss of $334 million, or negative $1.28 a share, when the company wrestled with the crushing economic downturn of the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. FedEx reported net revenue for the quarter of $22.6 billion, a nearly $5 billion improvement from the $17.4 billion it posted a year ago.
The per-share result exceeded the expectations of Wall Street investment research, which had forecast EPS of $5.04 per share.
FedEx operates on a fiscal year cycle. Its FY 2021 ended on May 31.
The company said last quarter’s figures reflect an increase in volume growth and disciplined revenue and portfolio management. These factors were partially offset by costs to support strong demand, increased variable compensation expense, and higher labor rates, it said.
However, FedEx has now topped $20 billion in revenue in three consecutive quarters, the only times the Memphis, Tenn.-based carrier has achieved that financial mark in its 50-year history.
“I thank our team members around the world for their outstanding efforts during this extraordinary year,” CEO Fred Smith said in a statement with the earnings release. “We continue to play an important role in global economic recovery and the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and relief supplies throughout the U.S., Canada and more than 35 other countries. I am optimistic about the future of FedEx as we continue to innovate for our customers and meet strong demand for our global transportation network and capabilities.”
The company said business-to-business shipping traffic is coming back as the pandemic fades, while business-to-consumer volume remained at record levels.
FedEx also said it has delivered 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which it called a small but meaningful piece of its business growth.
For the fiscal year, the company reported net income surged to $5.23 billion, $19.45, compared with $1.29 billion, $4.90, a year ago. Annual revenue was $84 billion compared with $69.2 billion in the same period a year ago.
Company officials believe American and international consumers have gotten used to e-commerce purchasing, and expect growth will continue for years to come.
“The ongoing execution of our strategic initiatives has driven significant improvement in our fourth-quarter results and highlights the continued strength of our business,” CFO Michael Lenz said in a statement. “For fiscal 2021, we delivered record financial results while also recognizing the valuable contributions by our team members. We expect continued strong momentum in fiscal 2022, and our investments are focused on the areas of greatest growth and highest returns, like e-commerce, to position us for sustained long-term growth in earnings, cash flows and returns.”
FedEx said package and delivery volume surged by double-digit increases in all sectors, including overnight box drop-offs, overnight envelopes, U.S. overnight package deliveries, total U.S. package deliveries and international priority, and international economy.
FedEx Express, the largest division, saw Q4 revenue surge by 32% to $11.27 billion, compared with $8.56 billion last year. The company said FedEx Express saw “exceptional growth” for the quarter in international export and U.S. domestic package services.
FedEx Ground reported revenue of $8.13 billion, up 27% year-over-year, when the company said that division produced $6.39 billion in revenue.
FedEx Freight saw Q4 revenue rise 38% to $2.23 billion year-over-year, compared with $1.615 billion in 2020.
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