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Morgan Stanley raises UPS price target, keeps underweight rating By Investing.com

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On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley increased its stock price target on shares of UPS (NYSE:UPS) to $100 from the previous $95, while maintaining an Underweight rating on the stock. The firm’s analyst noted that UPS’s long-term (LT) financial targets, unveiled during their recent Investor Day, aligned with market expectations in terms of the end goals.

Still, the strategy to achieve these objectives, which hinges on significant pricing-driven revenue growth and mergers and acquisitions (M&A), sparked skepticism about the feasibility of these targets.

The analyst acknowledged the consistency of UPS’s broad LT targets with what was anticipated but pointed out a few unexpected elements concerning the approach to achieving those targets.

They appreciated that UPS’s management chose not to engage in aggressive cost-cutting measures to reach their financial goals, unlike some competitors in the industry. This decision was based on the understanding that reducing costs is not a solution to revenue challenges.

Despite this, the analyst indicated that there might be a sense of disappointment among investors. This is because the $1.38 billion in implied incremental cost savings by 2026 presented by UPS’s management fell short of expectations, being at least half of what was considered the benchmark figure.

The update on UPS’s price target follows the company’s presentation of its strategic roadmap at the Investor Day, which outlined their plans for growth and operational efficiency over the next few years.

While the company’s direction seems clear, the analyst’s remarks suggest that there are concerns about the practicality of the plan and whether the anticipated revenue growth can be achieved through the methods proposed by UPS’s management.

InvestingPro Insights

As UPS (NYSE:UPS) navigates the path set forth in its strategic roadmap, investors and analysts alike are keeping a close eye on the company’s financial health and market position.

According to InvestingPro, UPS has demonstrated a commitment to shareholder returns, having raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years and maintained dividend payments for 26 years, suggesting a stable financial policy that could reassure investors amidst concerns over the company’s long-term strategy.

InvestingPro Data reveals a market cap of $122.67 billion and a Price/Earnings (P/E) ratio adjusted for the last twelve months as of Q4 2023 at 16.21, indicating a potentially more attractive valuation compared to the unadjusted P/E ratio of 18.58. Additionally, the company’s revenue for the same period stands at $90.96 billion, with a solid gross profit margin of 22.96%, underlining UPS’s ability to maintain profitability.

InvestingPro Tips also highlight that UPS is a prominent player in the Air Freight & Logistics industry and operates with a moderate level of debt, factors that could influence investment decisions as they suggest a strong industry standing and a manageable financial structure. For those considering deeper analysis, InvestingPro offers even more insights, with a total of 7 additional tips available for UPS. To explore these insights and benefit from an exclusive offer, use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.



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United Airlines (UAL) 1Q 2024 earnings

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A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft lands at San Francisco International Airport.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

United Airlines on Tuesday cut its aircraft-delivery expectations for the year as it grapples with delays from Boeing, the latest airline to face growth challenges because of the plane-maker’s safety crisis.

United expects to receive just 61 new narrow-body planes this year, down from 101 it said it had expected at the beginning of the year and contracts for as many as 183 planes in 2024.

“We’ve adjusted our fleet plan to better reflect the reality of what the manufacturers are able to deliver,” CEO Scott Kirby said in an earnings release. “And, we’ll use those planes to capitalize on an opportunity that only United has: profitably grow our mid-continent hubs and expand our highly profitable international network from our best in the industry coastal hubs.”

United said it plans to lease 35 Airbus A321neos in 2026 and 2027, turning to Boeing’s rival for new planes as the U.S. manufacturer faces caps on its production and increased federal scrutiny. In January, United said it was taking Boeing’s not-yet-certified Max 10 out of its fleet plan. The airline said it has converted some Max 10 planes for Max 9s.

It lowered its annual capital expenditure estimate to $6.5 billion from about $9 billion.

United is also facing a Federal Aviation Administration safety review, which has prevented some of its planned growth. A spokeswoman told CNBC earlier this month that the carrier will have to postpone its planned service from Newark, New Jersey, to Faro, Portugal, and service between Tokyo and Cebu, Philippines.

United earlier this month postponed its investor day, which was scheduled for May, “because our entire team is focused on cooperating with the FAA to review our safety protocols and it would simply send the wrong message to our team to have an exciting investor day focused primarily on financial results.”

The airline said it would have reported a profit for the quarter if not for a $200 million hit from the temporary grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 9 in January.

The FAA temporarily grounded those jets after a door plug blew out minutes into an Alaska Airlines flight, sparking a new safety crisis for Boeing and slowing deliveries of its planes to customers including United, Southwest and others.

The airline posted a net loss of $124 million, or a loss of 38 cents a share, in the first quarter compared with a $194 million loss, or 59 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 10% in the first quarter compared with the year-earlier period to $12.54 billion, with capacity up more than 9% on the year.

Here’s what United reported in the first quarter compared with what Wall Street expected, based on average estimates compiled by LSEG:

  • Loss per share: 15 cents adjusted vs. a loss of 57 cents expected
  • Revenue: $12.54 billion vs. $12.45 billion expected

The airline expects to post earnings of between $3.75 and $4.25 in the second quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates of about $3.76 a share. Airlines make the bulk of their profits in the second and third quarters, during peak travel season.

The carrier also reiterated its full-year earnings forecast of between $9 and $11 a share.

United’s shares were up more than 4% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

United executives will hold a call with analysts at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

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Ex-Post Office boss regrets ‘missed opportunity’ to halt Horizon scandal

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“On reflection, and I have reflected on this very hard, when I finished being the Horizon programme director [in early 2000] it would have been very beneficial if I had notified both the lawyers and the [investigations team] that Horizon was a new system coming in, and that they should be very cautious about evidence coming out of that system,” he said.

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Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and debt restructuring efforts By Reuters

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COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s government rejected a proposal from its international bondholders on Tuesday on restructuring the more than $12 billion the country owes to them.

It means a near two-year spell in default will drag on for Sri Lanka and that the country’s next tranche of vital IMF support money could potentially get delayed.

Below is a timeline of the key events in the crisis and the efforts to resolve it:

2021-2022: Sri Lanka’s economy crumbles after years of overspending leaves its foreign exchange reserves critically low and the government unable to pay for essentials, such as fuel and medicine.

The country’s bonds suffer from multiple downgrades by credit rating agencies warning of the increasing risk of default. At the start of 2022 it manages to make a $500 million bond payment but it leaves its foreign exchange reserves precariously low.

MAY, 2022 – Sri Lanka is declared in default after it fails to make a smaller $78 million bond coupon payment.

JULY, 2022 – Public anger drives protesters to storm then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s office and residence. Rajapaksa flees to the Maldives, before moving on to Singapore.

Current President Ranil Wickremesinghe is voted into power by Sri Lankan lawmakers.

MARCH, 2023 – The International Monetary Fund approves a near $3 billion bailout for Sri Lanka after talks with Wickremesinghe’s government and assurances about its plans to repair the country’s finances.

OCTOBER, 2023

Sri Lanka announces an agreement with China’s EXIM (export/import) Bank to delay payments on about $4.2 billion worth of loans the Chinese lender it has extended to the country.

NOVEMBER, 2023

Other creditor nations including India, Japan and France agree to restructure about $5.9 billion in debt.

MARCH, 2024

A group of Sri Lankan officials arrives in London to meet with a number of investment funds that hold its more than $12 billion worth of government bonds. Talks advance to the key “restricted” phase where proposals are discussed privately and those involved agree not to buy or sell any of the debt on the open market.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of the main business district as rain clouds gather above in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo

APRIL, 2024

The government rejects a proposal tabled by the bondholders. The main stumbling blocks are that some the “baseline” assumptions used differ to those of the IMF and that the plan did not include a contingency option for the government in case the economy fails to recover as expected.



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