2018 was a choppy year for the airline business; high oil prices weighed on earnings for much of the...
FedEx Continues to Deliver
06/26/2018 5:00 am EST
FedEx has a lot going for it. The company is surfing several powerful trends that should continue to grow for several years.
1. The biggest growth factor for FedEx is the rising purchasing power of the Millennial generation. There are over 92 million Millennials who were born between 1982 and 2000. They range in age from their late teens to their mid 30s.
More importantly, the Millennials have $2.6 trillion in annual incomes. That number is expected to increase as the generation matures. Younger Millennials are also expected to have more disposable income as they pay off their student debts and begin to acquire the products and services they have always wanted.
2. FedEx is also in the catbird’s seat to benefit from the explosive growth of online shopping. Here, too, the Millennials are having a huge impact. Other generations – including the aging BabyBoomers – are also buying more from Amazon (AMZN), and other online sources. Those products, of course, must be delivered – and an increasing number are going via FedEx.
3. FedEx is also making excellent profits from the growing economy – not just in the US but also worldwide. Consumers everywhere are buying more stuff, and they want it ASAP.
4. The new US tax law is also boosting the bottom line for FedEx. Management is expected to use much of the extra cash to expand its services.
On the downside, rising fuel costs will cut into the company’s profits. However, I don’t expect to see the runaway oil prices that some analysts are predicting. It is simply not in OPEC’s best interests to let it happen.
Several analysts are also nervous about competition from United Parcel Service (UPS). However, the two companies have been battling each other for market share for over a decade. If UPS had a significant advantage, I think we would have seen it by now.
Lastly, there are rumors that Amazon.com plans to take on both UPS and FedEx. If so, it will be the company’s toughest — and most expensive — battle.
I rate the threat as entirely credible — but overstated. FedEx is not a fallen angel — but it is currently underpriced. The stock has an attractive 15.1 P/E, vs. 24.3 for the Dow.
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