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UPS profit soars above expectations, delivers strong outlook

ATLANTA – UPS’s soared past Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter and the delivery company issued strong guidance for the year.

The company’s international performance was especially strong. Adjusted operating profit rose 16 per cent and for the first time, the international unit exceeded $1 billion in annual profit when adjusted for one-time items.

Shares gained more than 2 per cent before the opening bell Tuesday.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, UPS earned $1.33 billion, or $1.48 per share. The Atlanta company earned $453 million, or 49 cents per share, a year ago.

The current quarter included a $79 million pension charge, while the prior-year period included $692 million in charges.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were $1.57 per share, or 16 cents better than industry analysts had projected, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

However, the company’s fourth-quarter revenue of $16.05 billion was short of $16.27 billion that Wall Street had expected. UPS cited the strong dollar and falling energy prices, which means that the company did not log the same fuel surcharges it had last year.

The company delivered 1.3 billion packages during the quarter, up 1.8 per cent from a year earlier.

UPS reported a full-year adjusted profit of $5.43 per share on revenue of $58.36 billion.

United Parcel Service Inc. expects 2016 earnings to be in a range of $5.70 to $5.90 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet predict earnings of $5.72 per share.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on UPS at http://www.zacks.com/ap/UPS

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Keywords: United Parcel Service, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings