UPS said Thursday that third-quarter profit inched slightly higher on growing revenue in the U.S. and a more profitable international delivery business.
The package-delivery giant is heading into the key end-of-year shopping season, when it plans to add about 95,000 seasonal workers to handle the crush of orders filled by online shoppers.
United Parcel Service Inc. said it earned $1.27 billion, up 1 percent from a year earlier.
Revenue rose 4.9 percent to $14.93 billion, but costs rose at a 5.2 percent clip and put a lid on profit.
The results slightly beat Wall Street expectations. UPS earned $1.44 per share, a penny better than the average forecast among 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
UPS stuck with its earlier forecast of full-year earnings between $5.70 and $5.90 per share. Chief financial officer Richard Peretz said the company was “performing according to our expectations” and has taken steps to benefit from record amounts of delivery work during the peak year-end shopping season.
Revenue in the U.S. delivery business rose nearly 5 percent as UPS continued to benefit from the growth in online shopping. Revenue per package, however, grew only 1 percent, and operating profit was about flat.
Operating profit was smaller but grew 14 percent in the company’s international business, as an increase in packages offset lower revenue per piece.
In trading Thursday afternoon, UPS shares fell 97 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $107.64. The shares are up almost 4 percent in the past year.