United Parcel Service Inc. reported fourth-quarter profit that beat estimates as record spending helped the company handle surging deliveries during its peak holiday season.

  • Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings were $1.94 a share, above Wall Streets’ estimates of $1.90. UPS said it expects to earn $7.45 to $7.75 a share this year, or $7.60 at the midpoint compared with analysts’ average estimate of $7.69.

Key Insights

  • Investors are finally seeing some payoff from spending that rose to more than $6 billion in 2018, double the $3 billion annual average over the prior five years.
  • The company confirmed worries of slowing international growth that hurt FedEx Corp. in the final months of last year, though UPS posted higher sales in that segment.
  • Earnings were boosted by efficiency gains from increased investment on automation, new cargo aircraft and package-sorting capacity.

Market Reaction

  • Shares jumped 3.8 percent to $104.99 in early trading. UPS fell 18 percent last year, compared with a 15 percent decline on a Standard & Poor’s index of industrial stocks.

Get More

  • See more earnings details here.
  • Read UPS’s statement.