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UPS cuts outlook for 2014

UPS spent heavily to avoid last year’s debacle over the holidays, when an unexpected crush of last-minute shipping and terrible weather led millions of late deliveries. It succeeded in making customers happy, but it cost the company. UPS cut its outlook for the year Friday and warned that fourth-quarter earnings would come in well below Wall Street expectations. “UPS invested heavily to ensure we would provide excellent service during peak when deliveries more than double,” CEO David Abney said. “Though customers enjoyed high quality service, it came at a cost to UPS.” In addition to the thousands of temporary hires for the holiday season, UPS spent millions to improve volume forecasting, network visibility, package status tracking and on improving its communications with customers. It now expects 2014 earnings of $4.75 per share, down from its previous forecast of between $4.90 per share and $5 per share.