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FedEx delivers e-commerce growth

BY CSA STAFF

The growth of e-commerce contributed to an 8% increase in average daily FedEx Ground volume, but severe winter weather exacted a heavy toll on the company’s profitability.

FedEx said its ground segment grew revenues by 10% to slightly more than $3 billion as average daily volumes grew by 8% during the company’s third quarter ended Feb. 28. The company delivered more than 300 million packages via ground during the period for average daily volume of roughly 4.8 million packages. Despite the increased volume due to growth in home delivery and business to business services, the ground segment’s profits came under pressure. Operating income grew 2% to $467 million, but operating margins contracted to 15.7% from 17%.

Results for the ground segment benefitted from late Thanksgiving holiday which pushed package volume associated with Cyber Week into the FedEx’s third quarter results during the current fiscal year whereas Cyber Week fell in the second quarter during the company prior fiscal year.

The favorability was significantly offset by an estimated $40 million year-over-year impact on operating income from weather, as well as increased network expansion costs and the negative net impact of fuel.

“Historically severe winter weather significantly affected our third-quarter earnings,” said chairman, president and CEO Fred Smith. “On days when the weather was closer to normal seasonal conditions, our volumes were solid and service levels were high. The FedEx strategy of maintaining separate express and ground networks with multiple hubs proved to be an especially important advantage for our package customers during this quarter’s severe weather and peak shipping.”

Even so, FedEx said third quarter profits totaled $1.23, well below the $1.46 analysts expected, and flat with the prior year’s third quarter profit of $1.23 when adjusted to exclude a one time restructuring charge.

Total company revenues grew 3% to $11.3 billion and operating income increased 9% to $641 million as a stronger profit performance at the company’s larger Express segment offset challenges with the ground division.

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VeriFone, Xpient partner on PaaS tool

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. — VeriFone Systems, Inc. is partnering with Xpient Solutions to provide payment-as-a-service (PaaS) solution for quick service restaurant (QSR) and fast-casual dining markets. The solution enhances security through payment system isolation and end-to-end encryption while providing a pathway to EMV and NFC payment acceptance at the point-of-sale (POS).

IRIS is a flexible POS application from Xpient Solutions. Integration of Xpient’s platform with the VeriFone Point PaaS solution enables restaurant operators to future-proof payment infrastructure for EMV and NFC payment acceptance while enhancing data security with a SRED and PCI PA DSS certified end-to-end encryption solution.

The Xpient system is complemented by the customizable VeriFone Point platform, which includes the following features:

VeriShield Total Protect: An end-to-end encryption and tokenization solution that protects retailers’ brands and reduces PCI complexity by eliminating usable cardholder data at the point of swipe.

VeriFone HQ: A solution that reduces estate management complexity, protects POS investments, and reduces total cost of ownership by keeping systems consumer-ready through remote diagnostics, device management and content management.

“We understand the challenges facing restaurants and their service providers when it comes to protecting customer data and having the technology in place to accept future payment types,” said Jennifer Miles, president, VeriFone Americas. “Through our partnership with Xpient, restaurants now have the flexible and reliable bundle of best-in-class hardware, software and services they need to quickly and easily adapt to changing security mandates and bolster their point of sale to accept EMV credit cards, mobile and other types of alternative payments.”

The platform is available on all VeriFone terminals, including mobile devices, and offers restaurants the flexibility to select any processor they choose.

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Tiffany names healthcare exec new CFO; Fernandez to retire

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Ralph Nicoletti, executive VP and CFO of healthcare services and insurance provider Cigna, will become the next executive VP and CFO of Tiffany & Co. His appointment to those offices will become effective on April 2, 2014.

James N. Fernandez, current COO and CFO of Tiffany, will retire in July 2014. Fernandez, a 30-year veteran of Tiffany, has been COO since 2011 and has been CFO since November 2013 and also served as CFO from 1989 to 2011. Upon his retirement, the title of COO will be eliminated and, instead, Tiffany’s senior VP of global operations and customer service and the senior VP of manufacturing, diamonds and gemstones will report directly to Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO.

Nicoletti, 56, will be based in New York and responsible for the company’s worldwide financial functions and information technology. He will report to Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO. Prior to his role with Cigna, he was executive VP and CFO at Alberto Culver and held various financial management positions at Kraft Foods.

“We have made key management additions to our organization in recent years,” said Kowalski. “Our first-class finance and IT functions and Ralph’s leadership experience and global perspective will be valuable to Tiffany’s continued worldwide expansion.”

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