UPS soars after quarterly report

The shipping company sees big international volume, surprising analysts with profit gains.

By Kim Peterson Apr 15, 2010 1:53PM
UPS (UPS) shares are flying today, up some 6% to surpass $69 after the company reported blowout quarterly numbers.

The news should cheer investors across the board, even those who don't own shares of UPS. The stock is considered a bellwether, Bloomberg reports, since UPS transports a wide range of goods across the globe.

"UPS is hitting number I didn't expect to see from them until 2011," one analyst told Bloomberg.

One success story in the UPS numbers is its international business. Shipping volume within countries outside the U.S. rose 24%, while international shipments increased 9%.

Overall, UPS said its quarterly profit was 71 cents a share. Analysts had only been expecting about 57 cents.

The UPS numbers just build on a story that was developing after FedEx (FDX) reported solid numbers last month. FedEx's earnings more than doubled from the year-ago period as the company's international air volume rose by 18%. The key to that increase was more exports (furniture, toys and the like) from Asia to the U.S.

A recovery "is well under way," FedEx's chairman said at the time, according to The Wall Street Journal.

On a related note, U.S. railroad traffic is also on the upswing. The Calculated Risk blog notes that rail traffic in March was up 7.5% from the year-ago period. That's the first year-over-year increase since July 2008.

Tags: UPS
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