Arkansas Best Has Tough Quarter

July 22, 2009

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Arkansas Best Corp. had a tough second quarter, marked by a net loss of $15.4 million, in the midst of a competitive pricing environment and weak freight levels.

Compared to the second quarter of 2009, the company had a net income of $16.2 million, or 63 cents a share, for the second quarter of 2008.

The company also saw revenues decrease by 26.7 percent to $362.6 million, down from $498.5 million from the second quarter of 2008.

"The effects of lower freight levels and a competitive pricing environment that has intensified since the first quarter were the main challenges faced by our company in the second quarter," said Robert Davidson, president and CEO. "In addition, our results were affected by unusual increases in nonunion healthcare and pension, workers' compensation and third-party casualty insurance claims costs versus last year."

The company reported 12 cents per share of additional costs related to the things Davidson mentioned.

Meanwhile, ABF Freight System, the less-than-truckload subsidiary of Arkansas Best, experienced a per-day decrease in revenue by 27.7 percent, per-day tonnage reduction of 17 percent, and an operating loss of $26.8 million compared to operating income of $25.5 million in 2008.

"However, despite the continuation of the severe economic recession that is unlike any we have seen before, we remain focused on cost control, managing yields in a difficult environment and maintaining the high level of overall customer service that will ensure our long-term success," Davidson said.

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