UTi Worldwide's Shares Surged: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of freight forwarder UTi Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW  ) popped 15% higher this morning, following a fiscal second-quarter 2012 earnings report that showed revenue rising 13%, net revenue (revenue minus cost of purchased transportation) up 17%, and net profits of $0.22 per share -- $0.03 ahead of estimates.

So what: So far, UTi seems to be delivering on Wall Street's hope for growth potential -- in revenue at least. Street estimates tell us earnings at this company will grow nearly 18% per year over the next five years.

Now what: Two things do worry me, however. Earnings in Q2 were only about 16% better than in the year-ago quarter. That's good, but not as good as Wall Street thinks the stock is capable of. Worrisome for other reasons is UTi's notation that its one weak link in the quarter was airfreight volumes, which "declined when compared to very high levels last year." Depicting the decline as a mere walking back from high year-ago levels, rather than a loss of market share to rivals, suggests we could see similar weakening in air freight at higher-profile peers such as FedEx (NYSE: FDX  ) or UPS (NYSE: UPS  ) going forward -- just something to think about as this current quarter progresses.

Can relatively tiny UTi outgrow the giants of this industry? Add it to your watchlist and find out.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own (or short) shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The Motley Fool owns shares of United Parcel Service and FedEx. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of FedEx. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


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