Online shopping surge delivers record revenue for UPS

A surge in online shopping helped UPS post record revenue during the last three months of 2020.

Shares of United Parcel Service Inc. rose 5% before the stock market opened Tuesday.

UPS and other delivery companies have seen demand spike as more people shop online during the pandemic and avoid going to physical stores. Not only was the Atlanta company working to deliver gifts during the holiday season, but it also started shipping COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. UPS said the daily average number of packages it delivered rose nearly 11% during the quarter.

Revenue rose 21% to $24.9 billion in the three months ending Dec. 31, a record for the company.

However, it posted a loss of $3.26 billion, or $3.75 per share, as costs rose and it took charges on pension obligations and the sale of its UPS freight business. The year before, it reported a much smaller loss of $106 million.

But when adjusted to remove charges, UPS said it earned $2.66 per share, easily beating Wall Street expectations.

Full-year revenue totaled $84.6 billion, with adjusted profit of $8.23 per share. Both were records for UPS.