UPS had a fourth quarter that was just as terrible as the company said it would be

UPS on Tuesday reported a slightly lower quarterly profit after a disappointing peak holiday season during which its costs were higher than expected.

UPS posted earnings per share of $US1.25, unchanged from a year earlier and meeting analyst expectations.

In January, the company said that its fourth quarter earnings would come in at around $US1.25 per share, which at the time was sharply lower than the $US1.47 that analysts had been expecting up to that point.

In its January statement, the company attributed its expectations for poor results to “underperformance” in its US domestic segment, adding: “While package volume and revenue results were in line with expectations, operating profit was negatively impacted by higher-than-expected peak-related expenses.”

UPS CEO David Abney said in that January announcement that, “Clearly, our financial performance during the quarter was disappointing.”

In the fourth quarter, revenue for UPS totaled $US15.9 billion, up 6.1% from the prior year, while net profit came in at $US1.15 billion, down from $US1.17 billion last year.

Abney said in a statement on Tuesday: “As we move into 2015, we will address this disparity with both cost and revenue actions. We will take actions necessary to improve profitability by increasing operational efficiency and adjusting price where appropriate. Our growth strategy is sound and we reaffirm our long-term target of 9%-to-13% earnings per share growth.”

In 2015, the company expects earnings per share to come in between $US5.05-$US5.30, up from $US4.75 in 2014.

(Reuters reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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