UPS Inc. said Thursday it expects moderating growth for the peak holiday shipping season, even as the carrier, the nation's largest transportation company, posted strong third-quarter results and raised its financial outlook for the full year.
In a statement, Kurt Kuehn, UPS's chief financial officer, said that "based on the projections of retailers and economists, we expect modest growth during the holiday peak season." UPS, which ships the equivalent of 6 to 7 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, is considered as close to a proxy on the economy's financial health as any transportation company.
Kuehn's comments came as Atlanta-based UPS reported a 9.3-percent increase in year-over-year revenue in the third quarter, and a 62-percent gain in adjusted earnings per share from the same period in 2009.
Revenue in the quarter reached $12.19 billion, compared with $11.15 billion in the same period a year ago. Operating profit rose, on an adjusted basis, to $1.5 billion from $929 million. Average daily shipment volume climbed to 15 million—a 5 percent increase over the same quarter in 2009, the company said. UPS said it delivered 958 million packages in 2010's third quarter.
UPS reported strong results across its three business units: domestic package, international package, and supply chain and freight.