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UPS 4Q profit of $1.33 billion beats Wall Street forecasts

UPS nearly tripled its fourth-quarter profit and seemed to avoid many of the holiday package-delivery breakdowns that it suffered a year earlier.

The company said that through greater use of automation and working with retailers, it was able to smooth out some of the spikes that overwhelmed its network in late 2014.

UPS expects 2016 earnings of between $5.70 and $5.90 per share, which would be an increase of between 5 percent and 9 percent over 2015 and stronger than Wall Street expected. Analysts were forecasting $5.72 per share in 2016, according to a FactSet survey.

Still, company executives said they face mixed economic indicators and slowing growth in some...