International and Supply Chain Businesses Show Strength Despite Economic
ATLANTA, Oct. 23, 2008 - UPS today reported diluted earnings per share of $0.96 for its third quarter on a 7.4% increase in revenue. This represents an 8.6% decline from the $1.05 per share reported on an adjusted basis for the comparable 2007 quarter. The company's international and supply chain businesses demonstrated strength despite a challenging global economic environment.
Unadjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.02 for the 2007 third quarter included a restructuring charge and related expenses for a supply chain business in France. Diluted earnings per share for this year's third quarter declined 5.9% compared to this amount.
"UPS managed the business well in this very tough economic climate," said Scott Davis, UPS's chairman and CEO. "We continue to see growth in our international and supply chain businesses while maintaining our focus on cost control and revenue management throughout our organization. UPS also is investing to ensure growth in the future so that the company will be even stronger when the global economy rebounds."
For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2008, consolidated revenue per piece increased 8.1% while package volume per day declined 2.6%. Operating profit declined 7% to $1.63 billion compared to adjusted operating profit last year. The decline was 4.4% on an unadjusted basis. Operating results were positively impacted by productivity gains and benefits from the two-month lag in fuel surcharges. These impacts were more than offset by economic deceleration and the high cost of fuel, which drove product mix changes.
For the first nine months of 2008, free cash flow remained strong at $4.6 billion, including $1 billion in U.S. federal tax refunds related to the company's withdrawal from the Central States Pension Plan. The company:
- Repurchased 48.5 million shares at a cost of $3.3 billion.
- Paid $1.8 billion in dividends.
- Invested $2.1 billion in capital expenditures.
- Ended the quarter with $1.8 billion in cash and short-term investments.
UPS experienced ample liquidity in the commercial paper market at very favorable rates.
"We've taken steps to effectively manage our costs and enhance service levels in an environment that proved substantially worse than we initially anticipated, with significant slowing toward the end of the quarter," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS's chief financial officer.
"Our focus on service, revenue management, cost reduction and our sound financial position will help us manage through these tough business conditions," Kuehn continued. "We've implemented a range of initiatives to ensure our network operation matches demand."
The CFO also noted UPS reduced its 2008 capital expenditure budget by $200 million to $2.8 billion and expects to reduce 2009 capital expenditures as well.
"Based on economic forecasts, we anticipate a challenging environment for a number of quarters going forward," he added. "We believe the U.S. consumer will be very conservative with spending this year. But we still expect 2008 earnings per share should be toward the lower end of the $3.50-to-$3.70 range that we provided mid-year."
UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS's stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at UPS.com.