The Bull Case for Logistics Provider Expeditors (EXPD, FDX)

Includes: EXPD, FDX

I'd like to highlight a play for supply-chain and logistics planning. No, it's not Fedex (NYSE:FDX). Though Fedex is a fabulous company and stock, I'm referring to Expeditors International (NASDAQ:EXPD). The company offers an international network supporting the movement and positioning of goods.

EXPD focuses exclusively on international shipping, purchasing space on planes and ships, and reselling to customers at a lower rate then they could secure on their own. With 167 offices and 13 service centers on six continents, the only place in the world you'd have trouble finding an EXPD agent would be Antarctica.

The six catalysts that make EXPD a buy:

1) Seldom do I see a CEO taking time out to address his shareholders appropriately in their SEC filings, but each 8-K I've read of EXPD, I've grown to adore the CEO -- his (admittedly) militaristic management style has drummed up 11 consecutive years of stock price appreciation.

2) EXPD has produced consistent double digit annual revenue growth without making acquisitions or taking on debt. It's something Wall Street loves -- organic growth!

3) Earnings are expected to come in at $1.75 per share for 2005 (Feb 14), which would mark another year of 24% growth, as the company likely had another solid year of taking market share away from competitors and taking advantage of improved airfreight and ocean volumes.

4) Looking ahead to 2006 and 2007, earnings should come in at $2.13 and $2.62, respectively. The valuation is rich at 40 times trailing PE, but you always have to pay up for the best.

5) The largest growth opportunity lies on the world's second-largest trade route, between Europe and Asia, which EXPD has yet to touch. EXPD currently has only 2% of the international freight market, so I think the company still has a ton of potential ahead.

6) Comparison to Fedex: EXPD 1 year and 30 day price changes have been, 21.5% and 7% compared to FDX's 16.4% and -6%, respectively. EXPD's pre-tax margins are 7.5%, slighty lower than FDX's 7.9%, projected 5 year EPS growth EXPD, 17.6% vs. FDX's 14.5%. EXPD's Debt/Equity O vs. FDX's 0.26, Income and sales growth of EXPD 22.7%, 17.50 vs. FDX 18.4%, 10.4%, Dividend Yield of EXPD's 0.4% vs. FDX's 0.3%, Qtrly Revenue Growth EXPD 16.6% vs. FDX 10.3%. (Smartmoney & Yahoo Finance)


1) Rising fuel prices remains a big risk from time to time as there is a time delay between energy cost advances and EXPD's ability to pass that on to customers. But with good management in place I believe they will do well.

EXPD usually sells off after earnings, so you may get another chance to buy into the company late next week.

Finally I'd like to mention that even though EXPD sells at a higher premium than FDX, with no debt on the balance sheets, EXPD is in good enough health to steadily increase its dividends (Total cash per share, EXPD 4.26 vs FDX 2.59). Taking that into account, my money is where the growth is -- organic growth at that.

EXPD 1-yr chart:

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