FedEx handily beat earnings estimates Tuesday for its fiscal first quarter with stronger results in its core package-delivery business, and offered an upbeat assessment about its prospects for the holidays.

FedEx said it expects to add more than 50,000 employees to handle peak season volume between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Executive vice president Mike Glenn said the four Mondays during the peak season are expected to be among the busiest in company history. Last year more than 325 million shipments were handled during peak.

For the fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31, the Memphis-based company had unadjusted earnings of $715 million, or $2.65 a share, up 3.3% from $692 million, or $2.42 a share, for the same quarter same quarter last year. On an unadjusted basis, FedEx reported $2.90 a share, beating the analysts' consensus estimate of $2.82.

The company cited higher volume at FedEx Ground, higher base yields at FedEx Express and FedEx Ground and continuing results of a multiyear profit improvement program.

The earnings were adjusted for about 25 cents a share in non-recurring cost items related to the integration of recently acquired European company TNT Express.

"The integration of TNT Express is proceeding smoothly, and the level of team members' engagement is outstanding," said FedEx chairman Frederick Smith in a statement. "Managing our operating companies as a portfolio of customer solutions helped FedEx achieve strong financial and operating results in the quarter, especially given the global economy's continued low growth." - 24/7 Support including Chat