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UPS Shares Plunge Amid Weak Earnings, Outlook

From United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) early Tuesday posted weaker-than-expected fourth quarter results and profit forecast, but subsequently offered an optimistic revenue outlook for 2017 in its earnings call.

The upbeat revenue guidance wasn’t enough to stem the selling tide, however, and shares were plunging more than 4% in early trading.

The Atlanta-based package delivery giant reported Q4 EPS of $1.63, which was $0.06 worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.69. Revenues rose 5.5% from last year to $16.93 billion, also missing analysts’ $16.99 billion view.

Looking ahead, UPS forecast 2017 EPS to range from $5.80 to $6.10, which would badly miss Wall Street’s estimate of $6.16. The company noted that currency effects would hamper results by $0.30. Later in its earnings call, UPS said it expects 2017 revenues to increase 8% to 10% from 2016 levels, which implies a range of $65.78 billion to $67.00 billion. Those numbers would easily top analysts’ current view of $63.79 billion.

On the political front, UPS noted it supports free trade agreements with various nations. In contrast, President Trump has frequently proposed renegotiating trade deals to be more protectionist.

The company commented via press release:

“The investments in ORION and automation provided benefits during the quarter,” said Richard Peretz, UPS chief financial officer. “However, bottom-line results were challenged by a shift in product mix and the continued softness in industrial production. Strong growth, combined with our network investments, provide UPS with great opportunities for many years to come.”

United Parcel Service, Inc. shares fell $5.23 (-4.47%) in premarket trading Tuesday. Prior to today’s report, UPS had declined -1.65% year-to-date, versus a 1.59% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

UPS currently has a POWR Rating of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 10 stocks in the Air Freight & Shipping Services category.

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