United Parcel Service reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates as price hikes stuck, and the world's largest package delivery company raised its 2011 forecast for record results.
There has been little resistance from customers to higher rates imposed as the company's fuel costs increase, UPS said. It remains concerned about how much longer and higher oil prices will rise and whether it will stifle consumer demand.
Given fears over weather and fuel in the quarter this was a very solid report, said Peter Nesvold, Jefferies & Co analyst.
The company said revenues for U.S. domestic deliveries rose 6.2 percent, driven by higher rates and fuel surcharges. International deliveries revenue rose 10 percent, with gains from rate hikes and fuel surcharges partly offset by currency.
So far the global economic recovery has been resilient, in the face of Japan's crisis, spiking fuel costs, North Africa and Middle East unrest, CEO Scott Davis told investors on a call.
UPS handles goods equal to 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and 2 percent of global GDP in its trucks and planes, so its shipment trends give a tangible view of consumer demand.
The most important data point in our view were the yield statistics, with global package yields up 5.2 pct year over year and we were modeling 3.7 percent, Nesvold said.
The economic bellwether's first-quarter net income rose to $885 million from $533 million a year before, and earnings per share rose to 88 cents from 53 cents.
Wall Street analysts were expect a gain of 85 cents per share, on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose to $12.58 billion from $11.73 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $12.72 billion in revenue.
The Atlanta-based company raised its 2011 share guidance to $4.15 to $4.40. from its February estimate of $4.12 to $4.35 a share.
Shares were up 1 percent in midmorning trading at $74.36, and up by a similar amount so far this year. The gain lags the 5 percent increase year-to-date in the Dow Jones Transportation Average <.DJT>.
(Reporting by Lynn Adler, editing by Dave Zimmerman)