Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fedex Corporation Analysis

FedEx business can be described as follows, from the 10-K,

FedEx Corporation (“FedEx”) provides a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services through companies operating independently, competing collectively and managed collaboratively under the respected FedEx brand. These operating companies are primarily represented by Federal Express Corporation (“FedEx Express”), the world’s largest express transportation company; FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx Ground”), a leading provider of small-package ground delivery services; FedEx Freight Corporation (“FedEx Freight”), a leading U.S. provider of regional less-than-truckload (“LTL”) freight services; and FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services, Inc. (“FedEx Kinko’s”), a leading provider of document solutions and business services. These companies form the core of our reportable segments.
Other business units in the FedEx portfolio are FedEx Trade Networks, Inc. (“FedEx Trade Networks”), a global trade services company; FedEx SmartPost, Inc. (“FedEx SmartPost”), a small-parcel consolidator; FedEx Supply Chain Services, Inc. (“FedEx Supply Chain Services”), a contract logistics provider; FedEx Custom Critical, Inc. (“FedEx Custom Critical”), a critical-shipment carrier; Caribbean Transportation Services, Inc. (“Caribbean Transportation Services”), a provider of airfreight forwarding services, and FedEx Corporate Services, Inc. (“FedEx Services”), a provider of customer-facing sales, marketing and information technology functions, primarily for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground.

Fedex revenue break down by segment is as follows:

Fedex Express - 66%

Fedex Ground - 16%

Fedex Freight - 11%

Kinkos - 6.6%

From volume growth point of view, Fedex express saw a one percent decline, Fedex ground increased by 13%. The latest 1o-Q provides more details:

Revenue growth for the first quarter of 2007 was primarily attributable to yield improvement across all of our transportation segments, volume growth at FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight and package volume growth in our International Priority (“IP”) services at FedEx Express. Yield improvements were principally due to higher fuel surcharges and rate increases. Volume increases at FedEx Ground resulted from increases in both commercial business and FedEx Home Delivery service, which helped mitigate the impact of domestic volume declines at FedEx Express. Shipment volumes grew 8% at FedEx Freight in the first quarter of 2007, while IP package volumes at FedEx Express grew 6% for the quarter. Revenues at FedEx Kinko’s decreased during the first quarter of 2007 primarily due to a continued competitive environment for copy services.
Operating income increased in the first quarter of 2007 primarily due to revenue growth and improved margins at FedEx Express and was slightly offset by reduced operating income at FedEx Kinko’s. Effective cost controls and revenue management actions contributed to increased operating margin at FedEx Express in the first quarter of 2007. FedEx Express operating income in the first quarter of 2006 included a $75 million charge described below.

The most interesting part of the 10-Q is the outlook statement:

While our growth rate is expected to moderate in comparison to our strong growth in 2006, we expect revenue and earnings improvement across all transportation segments in 2007. Our outlook is based on solid global economic growth, with the U.S. economy growing at a moderate, sustainable rate. We anticipate revenue growth in our high-margin services, productivity improvements and continued focus on yield management.
We anticipate growth in total U.S. domestic package volumes and yields, as well as continued growth in FedEx Express IP shipments and yields. We also anticipate year-over-year increases in volumes and yields at FedEx Freight as that segment continues to expand its LTL network and service offerings.
FedEx Kinko’s will focus on key strategies related to adding new locations, improving customer service and increasing investments in employee development and training, which we expect to result in decreased profitability in the short-term. In the first quarter of 2007, FedEx Kinko’s announced the model for new centers, which will be approximately one-third the size of a traditional center and will include enhanced pack-and-ship stations and a doubling of the number of office products offered. FedEx Kinko’s plans to open approximately 200 new centers across the United States during 2007, which will bring the total number of domestic centers to over 1,500.
We expect to continue to make investments to expand our networks and broaden our service offerings, in part through the integration and expansion of FedEx National LTL and our investments overseas. We anticipate that our new FedEx National LTL business will extend our leadership position in the heavy freight sector and provide new growth opportunities for our LTL operations in 2007 and beyond.
On September 25, 2006, we announced a $2.6 billion multi-year program to acquire and modify approximately 90 Boeing 757-200 aircraft to replace our narrow body fleet of Boeing 727-200 aircraft. We expect to bring the new aircraft into service during the eight-year period between calendar years 2008 and 2016 contingent upon identification and purchase of suitable 757 aircraft. The impact to 2007 of this program has been reflected in our expected 2007 capital expenditures of approximately $3 billion.
All of our transportation businesses operate in a competitive pricing environment, exacerbated by continuing high fuel prices. While our fuel surcharges have been sufficient to offset increased fuel prices, we cannot predict the impact on the overall economy if fuel costs significantly fluctuate from current levels. Volatility in fuel costs may also impact quarterly earnings because adjustments to our fuel surcharges lag changes in actual fuel prices paid. Therefore, the trailing impact of adjustments to FedEx Express and FedEx Ground fuel surcharges can significantly affect earnings in the short-term.
The pilots of FedEx Express, which represent a small number of FedEx Express total employees, are employed under a collective bargaining agreement that became amendable on May 31, 2004. In August 2006, FedEx Express and the pilots’ union reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. The proposed new contract includes signing bonuses and other compensation that would result in a charge in the period of ratification of approximately $145 million. Contract ratification is expected during the second quarter of 2007 but cannot be assured. If ratified, the new four-year contract will become amendable in 2010.

In July 2006, FedEx Express entered into a new seven-year transportation agreement with the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) under which FedEx Express will continue to provide domestic air transportation services to the USPS, including for its First Class, Priority and Express Mail. The agreement is expected to generate more than $8 billion in revenue for FedEx Express over its term, which begins on September 25, 2006, and ends on September 30, 2013. The agreement will replace the existing seven-year transportation agreement between FedEx Express and the USPS.

Interesting facts on Fedex are as follows:

The earning yield on Fedex ( at trailing P/E ) is 5.5 - which is slightly better than the long bond yield of 4.7%. On the forward P/E basis, the yield is 5.9% for FY07. However, FDX is growing at a brisk pace of about 10% per year along with cash flows and the growth rate will continue for the next several years. From the discount cash flow point of view, Fedex is definitely looking good at current prices with upside in the future. The demographics in the US and increasing wealth around the world will always need Fedex service for decades to come.

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