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FedEx (FDX) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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FedEx Corporation (FDX - Free Report) is set to release first-quarter fiscal 2021 (ended Aug 31, 2020) results on Sep 15, after market close.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter fiscal 2021 earnings has been revised 10.5% upward to $2.52 in the past 60 days. However, the company has a disappointing earnings history as its bottom line missed the consensus mark in three of the trailing four quarters and beat the same in the remaining one.

FedEx Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

FedEx Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

FedEx Corporation price-eps-surprise | FedEx Corporation Quote

Against this backdrop, let’s see how things have shaped up for the upcoming announcement.

The company’s performance in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 is likely to have been aided by the surge in e-commerce demand amid the current coronavirus-ravaged times. E-commerce, which already became part and parcel of daily lives in today’s fast-paced world, is witnessing higher demand now, more so with the pandemic-induced social-distancing protocols and quarantines. In fact, this boom in e-commerce already drove the recent quarterly results of the company’s rival United Parcel Service (UPS - Free Report) .

Coming back to FedEx, revenues at the company’s Ground unit are likely to have improved in the period under consideration owing to residential delivery volume growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for FedEx Ground revenues in the fiscal first quarter is currently pegged at $6,157 million, indicating an 18.9% improvement from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

However, supply-chain disruptions due to the pandemic might have weighed on the performance of FedEx. Notably, quarterly revenues at the FedEx Express unit are likely to have deteriorated due to a decline in package revenues as a result of the slowdown in global economy, triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for FedEx Express revenues in the fiscal first quarter is currently pegged at $8,660 million, suggesting a 3.2% dip from the year-earlier quarter’s reported number.

Quarterly revenues at the FedEx Freight unit are likely to have taken a hit as well from low volumes. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the to-be-reported quarter’s FedEx Freight revenues currently stands at $1,764 million, implying a 7.4% decline from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

An update on FedEx’s deal with Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) , inked in late May, for digital overhaul of commerce is also expected on the upcoming conference call.

Earnings Whispers

The proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for FedEx this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of a positive earnings surprise. However, that is not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: FedEx has an Earnings ESP of -4.48% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $2.41, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: FedEx carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

Highlights of Q4 Earnings

FedEx’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings (excluding $3.8 from non-recurring items) of $2.53 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.42. However, the bottom line plunged approximately 50% year over year. Results were affected by coronavirus-led soft volumes due to large-scale business closures, higher costs at the Ground unit on account of expanded service offerings and loss of business with Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) .

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