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Tickers in this Article: FDX
FedEx (NYSE:FDX) will release its second quarter results on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Analysts are expecting earnings per share of $1.40 after the company booked a profit of only $1.57 a share a year earlier.

Investors should care about a company's quarterly earnings because it shows the state of the business over the past 90 days and provides guidance for the following 90 days. SEE: 12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

What to Expect: Analysts are projecting earnings of $1.40 per share for FedEx, 10.8% less than a year ago, when the company reported earnings of $1.57 per share.

Three months ago, the consensus estimate was $1.67. Analysts are expecting earnings of $6.40 per share for the fiscal year.

FedEx is expected to report revenue of $10.84 billion for the quarter, beating last year's figure of $10.59 billion by 2.4%. Revenue of $43.96 billion is expected for the fiscal year.

Company Performance: Revenue has increased year-over-year over the two most recent quarters. It rose 2.6% to $10.79 billion in first quarter. In the previous quarter, the figure rose 4.3%.

FDX has a P/E ratio of 14.0. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Over the past quarter, the stock price has risen slightly to $89.71, from $89.28 on September 17, 2012. The biggest recent change for FedEx's stock price came on October 10, 2012, when it rose $4.41 per share to $89.99.

The Competition: FedEx provides various transportation, e-commerce and business services. Fourteen of 20 analysts give FedEx a buy rating. They have grown a bit more optimistic about the stock, as the number of buy ratings has inched up over the past three months.

The company's closest competitor in the air courier industry is UPS (UPS). Analysts are more optimistic about FedEx than about UPS. Only eight out of 19 analysts rate the latter a buy.

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