USPS reports first quarter results: $1.3 billion operating profit

  • Operating revenue grew 3.3 percent to $19.3 billion
  • Controllable income totaled $1.3 billion; net income of $307 million reported
  • Postal Service benefited from exigent surcharge, which is expected to expire in April
  • Legislative reform and careful focus on cost containment remain necessary 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service reported operating revenue of $19.3 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015), an increase of $613 million or 3.3 percent over the same period last year. The increase was driven by the record volume of packages delivered during the 2015 holiday season. The first quarter is typically the strongest quarter of the fiscal year for the Postal Service.

“Shipping and Package revenue grew 13.5 percent over the same period last year, and was particularly strong during the holiday shipping season. We projected and delivered more than a 16 percent increase in package volume,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan J. Brennan. “We continue to grow our e-commerce business and remain focused on delivering the best value for our customers.”

“Despite these achievements and the best efforts of our employees, our financial condition will worsen without legislative reform,” said Brennan. “Our financial situation is serious but solvable through the enactment of prudent legislative reform.”

Controllable income for the quarter was $1.3 billion compared to $1.1 billion for the same period last year. Calculation of controllable income takes into account the impact of operational expenses including compensation, benefits and work hours; but does not reflect factors such as the legally-mandated expense to prefund retiree health benefits (see Non-GAAP Financial Measures below for full description).

Net income for the quarter was $307 million, a change of $1.1 billion from the net loss of $754 million for the same period last year. The change in net income was most significantly impacted by a $1.2 billion favorable change in the workers’ compensation expense as a result of interest rate changes – a factor outside of management’s control.

“While net income is favorable compared to a net loss, it unfortunately does not reflect the end of our losses,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “Excluding the favorable impact of interest rate changes and the exigent surcharge, the organization would have actually reported a net loss of approximately $700 million in the first quarter. Absent legislative reform, the exigent surcharge is expected to roll back in April, and our losses will increase by approximately $2 billion per year.”

Selected First Quarter 2016 Results of Operations Compared to Same Period Last Year
The following table presents certain selected results of operations for the three months ended December 31, 2015 and 2014:

(volume results in millions of pieces; financial results in $ millions)

2015

2014

Change

%

Volume
Standard Mail

22,092

22,767

(675

)

(3.0

)%

First-Class Mail

16,402

16,770

(368

)

(2.2

)%

Periodicals

1,455

1,507

(52

)

(3.5

)%

Shipping and Packages

1,447

1,245

202

16.2

%

International

302

273

29

10.6

%

Other

190

158

32

20.3

%

Total volume

41,888

42,720

(832

)

(1.9

)%

Operating revenue and expenses $

307

(668.0

)
Operating revenue (excluding temporary exigent surcharge) $

18,774

$

18,148

$

626

3.4

%

Temporary exigent surcharge

573

586

(13

)

(2.2

)%

Total operating revenue $

19,347

$

18,734

$

613

3.3

%

Operating expenses $

19,002

$

19,475

$

(473

)

(2.4

)%

Workers’ compensation expense
Impact of discount rate changes $

(402

) $

816

$

(1,218

)

(149.3

)%

Actuarial valuation of new cases and revaluation of existing cases

188

(47

)

235

(500.0

)%

Administrative fee

18

17

1

5.9

%

Total workers’ compensation expense $

(196

) $

786

$

(982

)

(124.9

)%

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Included in this news release is controllable income, which is not calculated and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) within the meaning of applicable SEC rules. Controllable income is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as net income subtracting operating expenses considered outside of management’s control. These expenses include the mandated prefunding of retirement health benefits, actuarial revaluation of retirement liabilities and non-cash workers’ compensation adjustments.

The following table reconciles GAAP net income (loss) to controllable income and illustrates the income from ongoing business activities without the impact of non-controllable items for the three months ended December 31, 2015 and 2014:

(in $ millions)

2015

2014

Net income (loss) $

307

$

(754

)
Impact of:
PSRHBF prefunding expense

1,450

1,425

Change in workers’ compensation liability due to fluctuations in discount rates

(402

)

816

Other change in workers’ compensation liability1

(158

)

(363

)
Actuarial revaluation of retirement liability

60

Controllable income $

1,257

$

1,124

1 This is a net amount that includes changes in assumptions as well as the valuation of new claims and revaluation of existing claims.

Complete financial results are available in the Form 10-Q, available at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/financials/welcome.htm.

Source: USPS reports first quarter results