Watch Now

FedEx results went into overdrive in fiscal third quarter

EPS, operating and net income soar; revenues $4 billion higher year-on-year

FedEx rolled in fiscal Q3 (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) late Thursday reported very strong fiscal third-quarter 2021 results, with massive year-on-year increases in earnings per share as well as operating and net income, and revenues of $21.5 billion, a 21.3% gain.

On an adjusted basis, EPS hit $3.47, well above the range of $3.21 to $3.24 a share estimated by analysts on various financial platforms. The company posted EPS of $1.41 in its fiscal 2020 fourth quarter. Adjusted operating income hit $1.06 billion, more than doubling the fiscal 2020 figures. Adjusted net income of $939 million was way above the $371 million figure reported in the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter. Adjusted operating margin of 4.9% was far above the 2.8% margin in the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter.

Revenues were $4 billion above fiscal 2020 third-quarter levels, a reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on parcel delivery demand as online ordering activity zoomed far ahead of in-store retail shopping. FedEx’s fiscal third quarter fell during the peak holiday shipping season, which when combined with changes in consumer behavior due to the pandemic resulted in an unprecedented surge in parcel traffic. 

Besides the strong domestic residential delivery results, FedEx also reported gains in its time-definite, premium-priced international services, and benefited from favorable pricing trends across its three transportation segments: air and international, less-than-truckload, and domestic ground parcel services.

Though e-commerce and parcel delivery are expected to level off somewhat from the breakneck pace of 2020, activity is expected to stay elevated for some time to come. In a statement, FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith said he expects demand for the company’s services to “remain very high for the foreseeable future.”

Severe weather during February curbed the company’s operating income by about $350 million, FedEx said.

FedEx shares were up strongly in after-hours trading Thursday after the company announced its results.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.