3 Economic Bellwethers to Analyze After Earnings

United Parcel Service Inc(NYSE:UPS) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for the air delivery and freight services company rose to $1.04 billion ($1.06 per share) vs. $991 million (99 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 5.1% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 8% to $13.17 billion from the year earlier quarter. UPS was about in line with expectations as the mean analyst estimate of $1.05 per share. It fell exactly in line with the average revenue estimate of $13.17 billion.

“UPS produced another solid quarter of earnings growth against the backdrop of a deceleration in exports from Asia and a challenging global economic environment,” said Scott Davis, UPS chairman and CEO. “The resilience of our global model was evident during the quarter and we remain confident in our ability to perform in both good and bad economies.”

Competitors to Watch: FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX), Air Transport Services Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) and Air T, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIRT).

3M Company (NYSE:MMM) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for the diversified machinery company fell to $1.09 billion ($1.52 per share) vs. $1.11 billion ($1.53 per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 1.6% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 9.6% to $7.53 billion from the year earlier quarter. MMM fell short of the mean analyst estimate of $1.61 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $7.78 billion.

“The business environment remains challenging, as the economic softening that we experienced late in the second quarter continued into the third,” said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “While growth rates were good across much of our portfolio, LCD TV remained weak and momentum slowed in other parts of electronics following several quarters of very good growth. In addition, ongoing policy uncertainty and austerity are affecting growth in Western Europe, which reduced sales in the quarter. As is typical, we are seeing the impact of these changes earlier than most as our customers decrease production in order to lower their inventories. Conversely, we should benefit more quickly when those markets recover.”

Competitors to Watch: General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), DENTSPLY Intl. Inc. (NASDAQ:XRAY), Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC), Carlisle Companies, Inc. (NYSE:CSL), Honeywell Intl. Inc. (NYSE:HON), Siemens AG (NYSE:SI), and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. (NYSE:DD).

E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) (NYSE:DD) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the third quarter.  Net income for the conglomerates company rose to $452 million (48 cents per share) vs. $367 million (40 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 23.2% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 32% to $9.24 billion from the year earlier quarter. DD reported adjusted net income of 69 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of 56 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $8.68 billion.

“The resilience and diversity of DuPont’s business portfolio was evident in our strong third quarter results. Despite turbulent global economic and market conditions, we delivered solid growth through innovative products and process technologies, disciplined execution and continued productivity gains,” said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman. “Our portfolio is further strengthened by the rapid integration of Danisco, continued capacity expansions and selective growth investments across many of our businesses.”

Competitors to Watch: The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW), FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC), PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG), 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), Honeywell Intl. Inc. (NYSE:HON), Akzo Nobel N.V. (AKZOY), Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC), Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), PolyOne Corporation (NYSE:POL), and Ashland Inc. (NYSE:ASH).

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