In this segment from MarketFoolery, host Chris Hill and analysts Ron Gross and Emily Flippen discuss the latest earnings report from FedEx (FDX 1.82%). Margins may have shrunk a bit, and tariffs are impacting its top and bottom lines in a minor way, but as a business, the company is performing in all the ways you'd want it to. And it's giving its employees some good raises, too.
A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on Sept. 18, 2018.
Chris Hill: Let's start with FedEx, though. First quarter profits came in lower than expected. What is the headline for you, Ron? Because I've seen a couple of different headlines. One of them is, their margins are getting hit a little bit just because they're coming out and they're paying their employees more.
Ron Gross: Yeah. The headline for me is that this is a good report and ignore the rest of the noise.
Hill: The fact that the stock is down 4%?
Gross: Yeah, it's not a thing -- no, it is a thing, of course. But, the stock is down mostly, I think, because tariffs are actually taking a bit of a whack at them. The tariffs implemented so far have hit about 10% of their business in China, where they get about 2% of their overall revenue. It's a real thing. But I kind of view it the way I view currency fluctuations. I ignore it because there's nothing I can do about it. I don't know how long it's going to last. I don't know when it's going to reverse. I don't know what the Trump Administration is going to do with respect to them. So, I just want to look at the business and say, "Are they selling stuff? Are they doing the services that they say they're going to do for a good price? Are they paying their people well?" And they are. It's a strong company that's executing on everything they're supposed to be doing. Revenue up 11%. Earnings are up 38%, which is actually below estimates, but come on! That's a strong business. The stock's only trading 14X earnings. They're doing quite well.
Hill: It's interesting, when you think about how much play the employee raises is getting. It seems to me like, one, that's just a smart move in general. Two, it also seems like a smart move at this point in time. By that, I'm referring to the calendar that we're in right now. We've seen stories come out around seasonal hiring. I haven't seen any numbers coming out of FedEx or UPS yet, but I'm sure they're coming at some point. We've seen retailers like Target, Macy's, etc. Did Fred Smith talk about seasonal hiring on this one?
Gross: Yeah, they're going to boost seasonal hiring about 10% to 55,000. They're adding year-round Saturday delivery. They're bringing back Sunday holiday deliveries to put a little bit more pressure on Amazon there as Amazon is ramping up the pressure on shippers. They're getting in the zone with them on that. Again, they're anticipating, I think, a strong holiday season, putting the people in place to get that done.