FedEx shares are plunging after what Morgan Stanley called a “jarring” cut to its annual forecasts, suggesting global growth is slowing far more than most expect – in fact, the bank hinted at the possibility of a “severe recession” unfolding – and prompting expectations of an “uber-dovish hike” by the Fed.
The global logistics bellwether slashed its outlook just three months after raising the view, reflecting an unexpected and abrupt change in the company’s view of the global economy amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Not only were the cuts were deeper than the Street expected according to Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker, but everyone is pointing to the following comment from the press release: “Global trade has slowed in recent months and leading indicators point to ongoing deceleration in global trade near-term.”
Needless to say, with little in terms of warning, Morgan Stanley was shocked by the magnitude and severity of the cut, and suggested that this implies a “severe global recession” is unfolding:
“We recognize that global growth has slowed but we are very surprised by the magnitude of the headwind, which is what might be seen in a severe recession,” Shanker wrote. “We believe global growth concerns are also likely to get worse before they get better next year, which could mean more of a drag on FY20 EPS.”
Quoted by Bloomberg, Shankar also said that the Express unit is also likely to remain an overhang, Shanker said, as FedEx management didn’t provide an outlook for fiscal 2020 or its timeline for improving the cargo airline, which has been hit by worsening economic conditions in Europe.
FedEx shares tumbled 7% on Wednesday morning, the lowest intraday price in about two years and the 10th decline for FedEx in 11 days.
The silver lining: according to Bloomberg’s Arie Shapria, the fact that the guidance was slashed one day before the FOMC’s decision later today, expectations may be turning from a “dovish hike” to an “uber-dovish hike.” Alternatively, traders may be “jarringly” disappointed if the Fed refuses to prop up the market and retains its hawkish bias.