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Moves by Jeb Bush add to talk of 2016 candidacy

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush's decision to release a policy-laden e-book and all his emails from his time as governor of Florida has further stoked expectations among his allies that he will launch a presidential bid.

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Ebby Halliday acquires Fort Worth’s Williams Trew

Williams Trew Real Estate of Fort Worth has been acquired by Dallas-based residential real estate brokerage Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

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Meridian Bank Texas parent acquired by UMB Financial for $182.5M

Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Financial Corp., the parent company of UMB Bank, said Dec. 15 it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marquette Financial Companies in an all-stock transaction.

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Cousins Properties to sell 777 Main tower in downtown Fort Worth

Cousins Properties Inc. has confirmed plans to sell the 777 Main office tower in downtown Fort Worth, according to a news release from the Atlanta-based real estate investment firm.

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Glen Garden sale closes, distillery on tap

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. closed late Wednesday on its purchase of the historic Glen Garden Country Club in southeast Fort Worth, with plans to convert it into a whiskey distillery and bucolic visitor attraction.

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FedEx profit up, but misses expectations

DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer

DALLAS (AP) — FedEx Corp. says its latest quarterly profit rose 5 percent from a year ago despite storms that raised the company's costs, but the results were below analysts' expectations.

The company's ground-shipping segment is doing better, but the express-delivery business is flat and customers continue to shift to slower, cheaper services for international shipments.

The package-delivery giant said Wednesday that net income in the quarter that ended Feb. 28 rose to $378 million, or $1.23 per share, from $361 million, or $1.13 per share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected $1.45 per share.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $11.30 billion from $11 billion, missing Wall Street's forecast of $11.43 billion.

The weak results drove FedEx to lower its forecast of full-year earnings. However, FedEx expects fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of between $2.25 and $2.50 per share, which leaves room to beat analysts' prediction of $2.34 per share.

FedEx said that weather reduced operating income by $125 million in the December-to-February third quarter. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures slowed the company's trucks and planes and raised costs for everything from de-icing to overtime. Shipments dropped off during storms because some retail shippers in the East and Midwest closed.

Rival United Parcel Service Co. struggled to keep up with peak volumes just before Christmas — traffic was heavier and later in the season than UPS expected.

FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith said that his company handled December loads but will be careful in managing residential e-commerce shipments.

"The biggest challenge is the fact that so much of the business comes in such a short period of time, and obviously it is not possible to make these enormous capital investments for two or three weeks out of the year," Smith said on a conference call with analysts. "You can clearly go broke trying to deliver non-compensatory packages into people's homes."

Customers are limiting spending on higher-priced services. FedEx said that it was continuing to see a shift toward less profitable international services — the volume of international economy-class shipments rose 8 percent.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based company is still buying back its own stock, which reduced the number of shares by 3 percent from a year ago and boosted earnings per share.

Helane Becker, an analyst at Cowen and Co., said that investors would "give the company some slack" for the disappointing third quarter because of the slightly upbeat forecast for the May quarter and FedEx's moves to boost profit in its big express operations.

FedEx shares rose 56 cents to $139.13 in morning trading Wednesday. They began the day down 3.6 percent for this year after gaining 57 percent in 2013.

 

 

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