FedEx should delay Boeing deliveries and boost stock with buybacks instead, Bank of America says

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FedEx shares have lost nearly 30 percent in the past year and Bank of America suggested on Monday that the logistics company could boost its stock by delaying planned purchases of Boeing airplanes.

“Given the share price decline at FDX, we believe it may look to reduce capex to increase its planned buyback. The company could discuss such a plan when it reports on Tuesday,” Bank of America analyst Ken Hoexter said in a note to investors.

FedEx could add as much as $2.5 billion stock buybacks “if it delays half its planned purchases of Boeing 767 and 777 aircraft by 2 years,” Hoexter said. That would give FedEx shares an “upside surprise.”

Hoexter did not mention the recent scrutiny of Boeing and its 737 Max line of airplanes following two deadly crashes in a few months. While the 767 and 777 models do not appear to have major issues, Hoexter suggested FedEx could pause “the aircraft refresh” its undergoing to improve its long term profits. FedEx is set to receive 35 Boeing 767s and 7 Boeing 777s over the next two years.

“However, the near term slowing of purchases would come at the expense of its fleet refresh, which would delay the benefits to its improvement plan,” Hoexter said.

FedEx rose 0.5 percent in premarket trading from Friday’s close of $177.98 a share. The shares are off by 29 percent the last 12 months.

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