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

NEW YORK -- A surge in online shopping helped UPS post record revenue during the last three months of 2020, the company said Tuesday.

Its stock rose more than 3% in afternoon trading.

Its biggest customer — online shopping giant Amazon — helped fuel growth.

Amazon accounted for 13.3% of UPS's total revenue last year, up from 11.6% the year before, said UPS CEO Carol Tome. She expects pandemic-fueled online shopping habits to stick, even as more stores reopen.

“We're in a new normal," said Tome. “Even my relatives, who are older, are shopping online. Before, they would never do that."

UPS said 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.

Shares of United Parcel Service Inc. rose $5.28, or 3.4%, to $161.54 Tuesday afternoon.

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