We are lucky that in the new normal earnings, cash flows, news, and broadly reality, are completely irrelevant, and all that matters is the central bank-sponsored S&P multiple expansion (due to monetary dilution), or else the news from moments ago that FedEx once more cut not only its EPS but CapEx (and thus growth spending) may have been negative for stocks, and even mentioned by assorted propaganda networks. And since none of the above will happen, here is the bottom line: FedEx – the bellwether for global trade and logistics – just cut its year EPS from $6.20-$6.60 to $6.00-$6.20, and slashed CapEx from $3.9 billion to $3.6 billion. But at least in keeping with the demands of ZIRP, the company instead of spending on growth, which is obviosuly not there, will instead buy back 10 million shares of stock. This tells you all you need to know about the “recovery.”
From the release:
FedEx projects earnings to be an adjusted $1.90 to $2.10 per diluted share in the fourth quarter and an adjusted $6.00 to $6.20 per diluted share for fiscal 2013 before charges related to the company’s business realignment. Costs of the benefits provided under the voluntary buyout program will be recognized in the period that eligible employees accept their offers, predominantly in the fourth fiscal quarter. Including the third quarter costs, the company now expects the fiscal 2013 pretax cost of the voluntary buyout program to range from approximately $450 million to $550 million in cash expenditures, or $0.89 to $1.09 per diluted share, with some additional costs expected in fiscal 2014. Actual costs will depend on employee acceptance rates. Including the business realignment costs, earnings are expected to be $0.94 to $1.34 per diluted share in the fourth quarter and $4.91 to $5.31 per diluted share for fiscal 2013. This guidance assumes the current market outlook for fuel prices. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2013 is now $3.6 billion, compared to $3.9 billion in the company’s previous forecast.
In last year’s fourth quarter, the company reported earnings of $1.99 per diluted share, excluding a $0.26 per diluted share non-cash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including this charge, earnings were $1.73 per diluted share.
“Our lower-than-expected results for the quarter and reduced full-year earnings outlook were driven by third quarter international revenues declining approximately $100 million versus our guidance primarily due to accelerating customer preference for lower-yielding international services, lower rate per pound and weight per shipment,” said Alan B. Graf Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We expect these international revenue trends to continue. We have other actions under way beyond those already included in our profit improvement program. Some of these additional actions may involve temporarily or permanently grounding aircraft, which could result in asset impairment or other charges in future periods.”
“In early February, a number of officers and managing directors, primarily at FedEx Services and FedEx Express, accepted voluntary buyouts, and on February 15, thousands more team members were notified of their eligibility for the buyout program. This program is one of the first steps in a process that will help FedEx Express achieve necessary cost structure reductions and improved efficiency. In addition to continued profit improvements in the base businesses at FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, our profit improvement programs are targeting annual profitability improvement at FedEx Express of $1.6 billion by the end of fiscal 2016, from the fiscal year 2013 base business. Collectively, these initiatives are expected to increase margins, improve cash flows and increase our competitiveness,” said Graf.
But what about 2022??