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Strong online sales boost FedEx profits

·1-min read
FedEx, shown here loading the Covid-19 vaccine, reported strong quarterly profits on higher e-commerce volumes

FedEx reported Thursday that quarterly profits more than doubled as it cashed in on surging e-commerce deliveries, with revenue growth more than offsetting higher costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The shipping giant, a player in deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines, scored second-quarter profits of $1.2 billion, up from $560 million in the year-ago period as revenues jumped by nearly one-fifth to $20.6 billion.

FedEx pointed to volume growth in both domestic and international service. Mitigating the bounce was higher costs on employee safety and the need for additional personnel during the pandemic.

Chief Financial officer Michael Lenz attributed the performance to investments that allowed it to meet demand. The company did not provide a specific forecast for the rest of fiscal 2021 or next year.

"While the overall environment remains uncertain, we expect earnings growth in the second half of fiscal 2021 driven by the anticipated heightened demand for our services as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities," Lenz said.

FedEx said on December 11 it was "honored" to assist with the rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following its approval by US authorities. The companies is affixing sensors to track the shipments, along with artificial intelligence and predictive tools.

These technologies allow "customer support agents to intervene if weather or traffic delays threaten to impede delivery times," the company said.

Shares of FedEx fell 3.7 percent to $281.86. The stock has nearly doubled in 2020.

jmb/cs