UPS reports record earnings per share

UPS (United Parcel Service) (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) announced record 2012 fourth quarter and full year adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.32 and $4.53 respectively, with the U.S. Domestic segment leading the way. The company generated annual free cash flow of approximately $5.4 billion, a testament to operations execution and the emphasis UPS places on capital efficiency. UPS estimates that Hurricane Sandy reduced earnings per share by approximately $0.05.

UPS recorded a fourth quarter mark-to-market, non-cash, after-tax charge of $3.0 billion for its company-sponsored pension and post-retirement benefit plans. Although the plans exceeded their expected rate of return, these incremental gains were more than offset by a 120 basis point decline in year-end discount rates. As a result, on a GAAP basis, diluted earnings per share for the quarter fell to a loss of $1.83. For the full year, reported diluted earnings per share were $0.83. This adjustment does not affect cash flow, required pension funding or benefits paid to plan participants.

UPS expects full year earnings per share to be within a range of $4.80 – $5.06, an increase of 6-to-12% compared to 2012 adjusted results. The company also raised guidance for 2013 share repurchases from $1.5 billion to $4.0 billion.

Adjusted
Adjusted
Consolidated Results
4Q 2012
4Q 2012
4Q 2011
4Q 2011
Revenue $14.57 B $14.17 B
Operating profit (loss)
($2.78 B
)
$2.05 B $1.20 B $2.02 B
Operating margin
(19.1 %
)
14.1 % 8.4 % 14.3 %
Average volume per day 18.8 M 18.3 M
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
($1.83
)
$1.32 $0.74 $1.28

During the year, UPS delivered more than four billion packages. For the quarter, it delivered 18.8 million pieces per day, an increase of 2.9% over the prior-year period.

Overall consumer spending for holiday shopping fell slightly below expectations, however; UPS still delivered more than 500 million packages, including almost 28 million on its peak day, both new records.

Cash Position

For the year ending Dec. 31, UPS generated $5.4 billion in free cash flow after capital expenditures of $2.2 billion. UPS repurchased 21.8 million shares for approximately $1.6 billion and paid dividends totaling $2.1 billion, up 9.6% per share.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Boeing 747-45E (BCF) N579UP (msn 26062) climbs away from Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

UPS-United Parcel Service: AG Slide Show