Another solid display of combined earnings from the premier package and freight company.

UPS posts solid fourth-quarter operating results; net income hit by pension, legal, operating charges
(NYSE:UPS) reported Thursday morning solid fourth-quarter operating results, though its net income was weighed down considerably by about $1.9 billion in charges for pension adjustments, network reconfiguration and settling a legal dispute with New York state involving movements of cigarettes.
The company’s quarterly earnings per share (EPS) — adjusted for the charges — came in at $2.11 a share, 1 cent a share higher than the $2.10 estimate from nine analysts polled by Barchart and an 8.8% rise from the 2018 fourth quarter. UPS took a $2.23 EPS charge in the quarter for the associated charges. The $1.8 billion pension accounting charge was noncash. The network reconfiguration and legal charges were after tax, UPS said.
The quarter is considered the most important of UPS’ year because it includes the peak holiday season, when volumes swell to levels well above their normal size.
More tellingly for the U.S. and global economies, the company predicted continued weakness in global industrial production during 2020. Industrial economies worldwide have been in a more than yearlong funk, and there’s no indication that the tide will turn until the second half of 2020, at the earliest. Mega-scale carriers like UPS are considered proxies not only for their industries but for global economic activity.
UPS ships 21.7 million parcels worldwide each day.
UPS Freight, the company’s less-than-truckload (LTL) business, reported that revenue for each 100 pounds shipped rose 2.5%. Revenue per-hundredweight is considered a key metric of a carrier’s profitability.
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