Drivers

USA Truck Sees Losses in Second Quarter

July 17, 2009

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The second quarter brought losses in income and earnings per share for USA Truck, as a result of decreased freight load volumes, pricing competition and the collapse of the automotive industry.


The company experienced a net loss of $1.1 million, compared to net income of $2.1 million for the same quarter of 2008. In terms of earnings per share, the company incurred a loss of 11 cents per share, versus positive earnings per share of 21 cents for the second quarter of 2008.

Revenue also declined 21.8 percent from the 2008 period. The company raked in $81.2 million, compared with 103.8 million for the second quarter of 2008. For the six months ending June 30, 2009, revenue was $164.1 million, down 18.4 percent from $201 million for the same period in 2008.

"Freight conditions have steadily deteriorated since the current freight depression began in the second half of 2006," said Clifton Beckham, president and CEO. "Freight availability remains at historically low levels and pricing competition has been fierce as excess tractor capacity, buoyed by lenient lenders and lower fuel prices, continues to exist in the marketplace."

Meanwhile, the company's base trucking revenue per loaded mile was up 3 percent, and revenue per total mile was its best ever.

The company has implemented a Vision for Economic Value Added strategic plan to improve the financial security of the company. Some of the changes included reducing its non-driver workforce since the beginning of 2008 by about 200 people, or 24.4 percent, growing its owner-operator fleet by 68.9 percent to 152, and upgrading basic technology systems.

"We do not anticipate a meaningful recovery in freight demand during the remainder of 2009," Beckham said. "We believe that the truckload industry's prospects for recovery are heavily tied to business inventories, which remain well above their historical inventory-to-sales ratio. Once inventory destocking ends, then we believe that inventory replenishment will provide a boost to trucking volumes. However, such an event seems unlikely in the near term based on current sales and inventory trends."

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