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Friday November 24th, 2017 4:56PM

UPS tops Street 3Q forecasts, sees strong holiday season

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS is forecasting another record holiday season for shipments.

The company said Thursday that it expects to deliver more than 750 million packages between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31, about 5 percent more than last year. UPS expects to carry at least 30 million packages on 17 of the last 21 delivery days before Christmas.

UPS said it is working with shippers to handle the volume. It also hopes that additional Saturday operations and peak-day surcharges will help it tamp down the spikes in shipments on certain days.

UPS also plans to add about 95,000 seasonal workers, the same as last year, and use more automation.

The company made the holiday-shipping forecast as it reported third-quarter earnings of $1.26 billion, beating Wall Street estimates.

On a per-share basis, the Atlanta company had a profit of $1.45, a penny better than industry analysts had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $15.98 billion, which also beat Street forecasts of $15.61 billion.

UPS expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.85 to $6.10 per share.

Chairman and CEO David Abney said on a call with analysts that the company is slightly more upbeat about the economy helping its business in 2018 than it was three months ago. He cited economic growth, possible tax cuts, and the expectation of stronger industrial production.

Shares of United Parcel Service Inc. rose $1.62 to $120.17 in morning trading. They began the day up slightly more than 3 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index had climbed 14 percent.

___

Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on UPS at https://www.zacks.com/ap/UPS

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