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UPS reported earnings this morning and to no ones surprise (except every analyst on Wall Street) they were awful.

UPS earnings fell more than 55 percent to $401 million as revenue dropped more than 13 percent, compared to profit of $906 million a year ago.   The results missed Wall Street expectations, and UPS provided an outlook for second-quarter earnings that was below analysts expectations.  The January-March profit was 40 cents a share, compared to year-ago earnings of 87 cents a share.  Revenue in the quarter was $10.94 billion, versus $12.68 billion a year ago.  UPS said that the second quarter will be difficult. The company expects earnings per share in a range of 45 cents to 55 cents. Analysts were expecting second-quarter earnings of 65 cents. “Economic indicators tell us recovery in the U.S. might begin late this year, but more likely not until 2010,” he continued.  “So we expect the second quarter will be another difficult one. As a result, UPS anticipates earnings per diluted share in a range of $0.45 to $0.55.

This is important.  There are a handful of companies in this economy that really have their finger on the pulse of things.  UPS is one of them.  In this consumer driven economy they help transport an enormous percentage of all goods.  Those “green shoots” we keep hearing about are almost certainly weeds.