FedEx profit up, but outlook cut Thursday September 20, 8:39 am ET CHICAGO (Reuters) - Package delivery company FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX - News) on Thursday said quarterly profit rose despite a slowing U.S. economy, but lowered its full-year earnings outlook, sending its shares down more than 2 percent. The company reported net income of $494 million, or $1.58 a share, for the first quarter ended on August 31, up from $475 million, or $1.53 a share, a year earlier. Sales rose 8 percent to $9.2 billion. Wall Street analysts had on average expected earnings of $1.54 per share on sales of $9.08 billion. "Outside of the United States, the economy is generally solid," FedEx CEO Fred Smith said in a statement. The Memphis, Tennessee-based company said it expected full-year earnings per share of $6.70 to $7.10, down from its outlook of $7 to $7.40 given in June. Analysts had forecast full-year earnings per share of $7.19. "As a result of this weaker than anticipated economic environment, particularly its impact on the less-than-truckload freight market, we have reduced our earnings forecast by 4 percent for the full year," Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf said in a statement. Less-than-truckload companies consolidate smaller loads into a single truck. The U.S. trucking market has seen weak freight volumes over the past year and faces a tough pricing environment as companies compete for business. Like its main rival, Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS - News), FedEx is seen as a bellwether of U.S. economic activity. FedEx said it expected second-quarter earnings per share of $1.60 to $1.75. Analysts had forecast $1.95. In premarket trading, FedEx shares were down 2.3 percent to $104.99.