What happened

FedEx (FDX -0.17%) sent investors scrambling for the exits back in September, with the shares losing one-quarter of their value in a single trading day after the transportation giant warned a global economic slowdown was taking its toll.

In November, FedEx said the restructuring plan put in place in response to the slowdown was proceeding as planned. The stock reacted by recovering some of what was lost previously, climbing 13.7% in November, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

FedEx by its nature is closely linked to the health of the global economy. Demand for transportation services declines during a slowdown. Still, investors were caught off guard by how quickly the environment changed over the summer, leading to the oversize stock sell-off.

Speaking at an investor conference in early November, FedEx CFO Michael Lenz said he was "confident" the company would be able to push toward the high end of the $2.3 billion to $2.7 billion in savings targeted for the company's fiscal 2023.

Lenz said FedEx has trimmed dozens of domestic and international flights from its schedule, allowing the company to park aircraft temporarily and save on maintenance expenses. The ground side of the business, which saw explosive growth during the pandemic, has opportunities to eliminate sort points and consolidate loads to bring capacity back to normalized levels.

FedEx is assuming it will face lower demand "for the foreseeable future," according to Lenz, but he said the company has the operational flexibility to react to current conditions and ramp up, or scale back, as needed.

Now what

Even with the November rally, FedEx shares are down more than 30% year to date. As Lenz said, there isn't a lot of reason to be optimistic right now that demand will quickly bounce back, and until there is more clarity about where the economy goes from here there is likely only so much the company can do.

Still, long-term holders have reason to hope the company and its stock price bottomed out earlier in the fall and is relatively safe from here. Lenz's comments that the cost cutting plan is going as planned helps support that case. For those willing to wait out a downturn and enjoy FedEx's 2.5% dividend yield while they wait, it looks like a good time to consider FedEx shares.