Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of FedEx (NYSE:FDX) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Thursday morning. They currently have $310.00 target price on the shipping service provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of FedEx have outperformed its industry as well as rival United Parcel Service over the past year. While FedEx has gained 45.9%, the industry it belongs to and UPS have rallied 27.1% and 17.3%, respectively, in the same time period. Ushering in further good news, FedEx experienced a highly successful holiday season driven by increased package volumes. In fact, the strong growth of e-commerce is a huge positive for the company. The new tax law is also expected to aid the company significantly. The company's efforts to reward its shareholders through dividend payments and share buybacks are also encouraging. The positive sentiment surrounding the stock may be gauged from the fact that the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2018 earnings has increased 5.3% over the last 60 days. However, high costs are hurting the bottom line. Significant investments at the company's Ground unit are pushing up costs.”

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on FDX. Bank of America reiterated a buy rating and issued a $315.00 price objective on shares of FedEx in a research note on Friday, January 12th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a buy rating and issued a $300.00 price objective on shares of FedEx in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Oppenheimer reiterated a buy rating and issued a $229.00 price objective on shares of FedEx in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a hold rating and issued a $221.00 price objective (up from $216.00) on shares of FedEx in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on FedEx from $235.00 to $240.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, twenty-three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $270.49.

FedEx (FDX) traded up $2.14 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $274.32. The stock had a trading volume of 1,420,295 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,850,000. FedEx has a 52 week low of $182.89 and a 52 week high of $274.66. The company has a market cap of $73,490.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.21, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 1.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 1.50 and a current ratio of 1.57.

FedEx (NYSE:FDX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, December 19th. The shipping service provider reported $3.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.89 by $0.29. FedEx had a return on equity of 20.56% and a net margin of 4.74%. The company had revenue of $16.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $15.67 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.80 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that FedEx will post 13.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 11th were issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 8th. FedEx’s payout ratio is currently 18.38%.

In other FedEx news, insider Henry J. Maier sold 11,150 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $228.46, for a total transaction of $2,547,329.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 36,747 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,395,219.62. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Kim Jabal sold 3,980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $225.55, for a total value of $897,689.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,080 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,371,344. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 68,671 shares of company stock worth $17,137,160 over the last three months. 8.45% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of FDX. Beach Investment Management LLC. acquired a new position in FedEx during the 2nd quarter worth $11,976,000. Corundum Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of FedEx in the 2nd quarter valued at $218,000. Summit Financial Strategies Inc. acquired a new position in shares of FedEx in the 2nd quarter valued at $247,000. Trent Capital Management Inc. NC acquired a new position in shares of FedEx in the 2nd quarter valued at $5,556,000. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of FedEx by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,694 shares of the shipping service provider’s stock valued at $1,020,000 after purchasing an additional 37 shares during the period. 75.69% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About FedEx

FedEx Corporation (FedEx) provides a portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services through companies competing collectively, operating independently and managed collaboratively, under the FedEx brand. The Company’s segments include FedEx Express, TNT Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services.

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