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FedEx (FDX) Beats on Bottom Line, Micron (MU) Misses

A couple key earnings reports hit the tape after Tuesday's market close, with global delivery and logistics giant FedEx FDX beating bottom-line estimates by 20 cents per share, while semiconductor major Micron MU missed the Zacks consensus by 4 cents per share. For revenues, FedEx came in about exactly even with estimates at $17.8 billion, while Micron surprised to the upside to $4.79 billion.

Put in proper context, however, Micron's top line took a big hit year over year -- $7.8 billion was what the company reported in the year-ago quarter. Industry-related difficulties related to U.S.-China trade-war casualty Huawei and its access to U.S.-based semi firms like Micron (which is based in Boise, ID) have already tripped up companies like Broadcom AVGO, so investors were looking for a bit of a slip in MU's report this afternoon. In fact, the Semiconductor Memory sub-industry is the lowest in the Zacks universe: 254 out of 254.

For FedEx, this is the company's first earnings beat in its last 4 quarters; FDX had missed on the bottom line 6 of its previous 10 quarters. International softness -- again stemming from the trade war between the U.S. and China -- were expected here, as well. Earlier today, FedEx filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Commerce, claiming the department's prohibitions related to Export Administration Regulations is unfairly hurting FDX's business.

While both these companies have been facing challenges that showed up in quarterly data this afternoon, neither suffered the dire possibilities that some analysts were expecting. We now look to the companies' conference calls for a way forward for both. Ahead of the earnings releases, FedEx was rated a Zacks Rank #2 (Hold), while Micron was a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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