FedEx's Net Fell 19% Amid Early-Retirement Costs



FedEx Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter net income dropped 19% amid costs related to the company's voluntary early-retirement and severance program, but revenue increased 4.4% amid growth across all delivery segments.

FedEx said it continues to estimate that, depending on employee acceptance rates, the pretax costs for its voluntary early-retirement and severance programs will total about $230 million to $290 million in fiscal 2004, with most of the costs to be incurred in the first half.

The estimated savings from these programs is still expected to be $100 million to $130 million in fiscal 2004, primarily in the second half, with a resulting estimated net cost of $130 million to $160 million for the year. In fiscal 2005 and beyond, the estimated annual savings from these programs remains $150 million to $190 million.

Based on employee acceptance levels to date, the company believes the costs and savings will be near the high end of the ranges.

In June, FedEx unveiled voluntary early-retirement and severance programs for eligible U.S. employees in a move to slash costs in its core express-delivery division. The downsizing steps were a first for FedEx in the U.S. They had been long awaited by analysts and investors as the economic downturn and a resulting slump in deliveries hurt demand for air shipping.