NEW YORK — UPS said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income slid because of an accounting charge, but its adjusted results topped Wall Street's expectations.
Excluding the charge, profit rose 21 percent. The world's largest package delivery company credited the increase to an improving U.S. package business that's making up for slower sales growth overseas. United Parcel Service Inc. also forecast Tuesday that its full-year results would mostly top analysts' forecasts.
In the fourth quarter, the Atlanta company earned $725 million, or 74 cents per share, compared with $1.3 billion, or $1.02 per share a year earlier. Excluding a charge tied to how UPS accounts for pensions and retirement plans, it earned $1.28 per share in the latest quarter.
Analysts expected an adjusted profit of $1.27 per share.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $14.17 billion. Revenue rose 7 percent in the U.S. — more than double the rate of its international business. Its smallest unit, supply chain and freight, saw revenue improve by 2 percent.
For the full-year, the company earned $3.8 billion, or $3.84 per share, compared with $3.33 billion, or $3.33 per share, in 2010. The full year 2011 results also include the impact of the accounting change.
Excluding one-time charges, UPS made more money in 2011 than any year since before the recession. Adjusted full-year profit was $4.35 per share. It made $4.17 per share in 2007, excluding one-time items. The recession began in December of that year.
For 2012, the company expects to earn between $4.75 and $5, an increase of 9 to 15 percent over adjusted 2011 results. Analysts currently expect $4.80 per share.