On The Fly: What to watch in UPS earnings report
UPS (UPS) is scheduled to report results of its third fiscal quarter before the market open on Thursday, October 27, with a conference call scheduled for 8:30 am ET. What to watch for: 1. GUIDANCE: When UPS reported its second quarter results on July 29, it affirmed its fiscal 2016 earnings per share guidance of $5.70-$5.90, against a consensus estimate of $5.81. 2. HOLIDAY HIRING: On September 14, UPS announced that it expects to hire approximately 95,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated increase in package volume that will begin in November and continue through January 2017. According the UPS pressroom, the company expected to hire between 90,000 and 95,000 seasonal employees last year. On October 3, the Wall Street Journal reported that UPS and FedEx (FDX) are planning to process more packages without hiring help. The Journal said that hiring is expected to be flat for package processing. 3. LABOR: On August 31, UPS announced that its pilots ratified a new labor agreement that became amendable September 1, 2021. The agreement was voted on by 98.7% of the association membership, with 91.6% percent voting to ratify. Terms of the agreement become effective September 1, 2016 and run through Sept. 1, 2021. The contract covers 2,579 pilots at UPS Airlines. On October 21, the Teamsters Local 2727 announced the mechanics who maintain UPS aircraft began a vote to authorize a strike. The strike vote comes after three years of prolonged negotiations during which UPS continues to demand huge concessions. 4. DRONES: On September 23, UPS announced that it has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations, working together with drone-maker CyPhy Works. The drone flight advances an investment made by The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund in CyPhy to gather information about drone uses and capabilities. Mark Wallace, UPS senior VP of global engineering and sustainability, said, "Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers. We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available."