UPS Boasts Outstanding 2021 - Shares Hit Record High
United Parcel Service (UPS) has projected 2022 revenue above market expectations and saw its biggest dividend boost on Tuesday, following record annual earnings in light of the COVID-19-pandemic-driven surge in online shopping and labor shortages.
UPS shares rose 16% to a record high of $233.72 per share, as the company capped 2021 with double-digit revenue growth across all units and consolidated operating margins touching 14-year highs.
Under new CEO - Carol Tome, who came on board in June 2020, the logistics giant took on a different strategy, prirotizing lucrative deliveries over volume and scoring customers that generate more revenue and profits, such as healthcare companies and small and medium-sized businesses.
"2021 was an outstanding year for UPS”, Chief Financial Officer - Brian Newman said on a call with analysts on Tuesday.
Average daily volumes with small and medium-sized businesses grew 18% in the US despite higher prices, and business with Amazon.com - UPS’s largest customer - also saw a healthy increase.
Much like other industries, UPS and FedEx Corp have been dealing with supply chain challenges and rising Omicron variant cases among their staff. FedEx said on Tuesday that it was suspending its domestic express freight services due to COVID-19 cases. UPS said that it had cut staff and returned rental equipment at the end of Q4 as COVID cases rose and package volumes decreased.
However, UPS managed to expand operating margins to 13.5% in 2021. It expects to further increase that to 13.7% in 2022, a year earlier than anticipated, helped by lowering costs through automation and higher volumes. It additionally forecast a 2022 revenue of about $102 billion, above the Refinitiv-IBES estimate of $100 billion.
"UPS has emphasized the 'better not bigger' concept, which is what they seemed to have put in practice at the end of Q4”, Patrick Donnelly - a senior analyst at Third Bridge Group commented.
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