FedEx (FDX) is one of the few companies out there that generally provides a decent outlook into the global economy. And the picture they painted in Thursday’s earnings report was one of tepid growth. On the conference call CFO Alan Graf was fairly blunt about the economy:
we just don’t have as strong an economy as we hoped it would be a year ago
FedEx CEO Fred Smith added some color to the comments detailing the weakness in Europe:
Growth rates in Europe are extremely low and my personal belief is they’re going to continue to be low
The stock was down on the day mostly due to the decline in guidance. They issued issued guidance for Q4 of $1.75-2.00 vs. $2.00 estimate. Growth was described as “moderate” in the press release. This sounds an awful lot like “muddle through” with continuing risks in international markets. All consistent with what we’ve been seeing in the latest PMI data from both the USA and China and Europe.