FedEx Wednesday posted lower-than-expected results for both its fiscal fourth quarter and year-end 2015, on lower fuel surcharges, the strong U.S. dollar, and a change in accounting for pension costs.
The Memphis, Tenn. company reported a loss of $895 million, or $3.16 per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter that ended May 31. Excluding the pension change, a writedown of aircraft, and other one-time items, FedEx said it would have earned $2.66 per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had forecast the company would earn $2.70 per share, according to the The New York Times.
For fiscal 2015, FedEx’s adjusted earnings were $8.95 per diluted share, compared with $7.05 per diluted share a year ago.
“Fiscal 2015 was a transformative year for FedEx,” FedEx Corp. chairman, president, and chief executive Frederick W. Smith said in a press release. “Significant acquisitions announced in the year promise to strengthen our portfolio of services and change what’s possible for customers.”
FedEx said last week that it would take a $2.2 billion pretax charge in the May 31 quarter because it was changing pension accounting. The change involves recording “plan gains and losses in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year instead of spreading them over many years,” according to the Times.
“Adopting the mark-to-market approach will align our accounting to provide greater transparency by removing certain legacy pension costs from segment operating results and recognizing them in a year-end adjustment,” FedEx CFO Alan B. Graf, Jr. said in a news release last week.
FedEx also said that its independent board directors approved an increase of the mandatory retirement age for directors from age 72 to age 75. The Times said that would enable Smith to stay on the job longer, as he will turn 71 in August.
For fiscal 2016, FedEx projects adjusted earnings to be $10.60 to $11.10 per diluted share before year-end mark-to-market pension accounting adjustments.