updated 10/21/2004 10:07:57 AM ET 2004-10-21T14:07:57

Shipping company UPS Inc. reported a 20 percent jump in third-quarter profit on solid increases in revenue and package volume.

The results, announced Thursday, missed Wall Street expectations when factoring in the resolution of several tax issues.

The world's largest shipping carrier said it earned $890 million, or 78 cents a share, for the three months ending Sept. 30, compared to a profit of $739 million, or 65 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding a $99 million tax credit, Atlanta-based UPS earned $791 million, or 70 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First call were expecting earnings of 72 cents a share excluding one-time items.

Revenue in the July-September period rose 7.7 percent to $8.95 billion, compared to $8.31 billion a year ago.

"The reach and reliability of our global package delivery network is unmatched and we're attracting new business as a result," said Scott Davis, UPS's chief financial officer. "We're seeing double-digit export growth in every region of the world with strong profit increases to match."

UPS said worldwide average daily volume increased by 445,000 packages per day to 13.7 million, a 3.4 percent rise. International export package volume grew 13.2 percent.

The results for the third quarter in 2003 included a $24 million gain on the sale of UPS Aviation Technologies as well as a $22 million tax benefit due to a favorable tax ruling.

U.S. package revenue increased 4.4 percent to $6.49 billion. UPS said the segment was affected by the hurricanes that hit the Southeast.

For the first nine months of the year, net income was $2.47 billion, or $2.17 a share, compared to $2.04 billion, or $1.80 a share, a year ago. Nine-month revenue was $26.74 billion, compared to $24.55 billion last year.

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