Updated at 12:24 pm EST
United Parcel Service (UPS) - posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday, while re-affirming its full-year profit forecast and unveiling plans to double its annual share buybacks to around $2 billion.
The stock was pressured in early trading, however, after the parcel delivery group said domestic volumes would continue to decline over the first half of the year, amid surging fuel and transport costs, before improving into six months ending in December.
UPS said earnings for the three months ending in March were pegged at $3.03 per share, up 9.4% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.88 per share. Group revenues, the company said, rose 6.55% to $24.4 billion, again topping estimates of a $23.8 billion tally.
Domestic segment revenues rose 8% to $15.1 billion, UPS said, powered in party by a 9.5% boost in revenue-per-piece, a key industry metric. International revenues were up 13.1% to $5.4 billion while supply chain solutions sales rose 5.9% to $4.9 billion.
Looking into the current calendar year, UPS reaffirmed its guidance for revenues of more than $102 billion, earnings in the region of $14 billion adding it expects to delivery on operating margin and sales targets, originally set for 2023, one year early.
“I want to thank all UPSers for their outstanding efforts during a challenging first quarter to serve the needs of our customers,” said CEO Carol Tomé. “The agility of our network and the continued execution of our strategy delivered another quarter of strong financial performance, putting us on our way to achieving our 2022 consolidated financial targets.”
UPS shares were marked 3% lower in mid-day trading Tuesday following the earnings release to change hands at $184.00 each, extending its 2022 loss to around 14%.
Last month, rival FedEx (FDX) - reiterated its full year profit forecast, guiding investors to earnings in the region of $20.50 to $21.50 per share, following a modestly weaker-than-expected fiscal third quarter.
FedEx earned $4.59 per share over the three months ending in February, thanks to a $350 million hit linked to Covid-linked pilot shortages that limited airfreight capacity, even as revenues rose 10% from last year to $23.6 billion.