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Heartland Express Earnings, Income Down on Continued Weak Demand

April 19, 2010

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Truckload carrier Heartland Express reported lower earnings and income in the first quarter, a result of weak freight demand and pressure on rates.
Despite a tough first quarter, Heartland Express said it has seen some promising signs of life.
Despite a tough first quarter, Heartland Express said it has seen some promising signs of life.


The Iowa-based carrier posted net income of $11.9 million, down from $14.1 million in the 2009 quarter, a 15.9 percent decrease. In addition, earnings per share were down 13.3 percent to 13 cents, compared with 15 cents a share in the first quarter of 2009.

Operating income fell 4 cents a share because of decreased gains on disposal of property and equipment and increased depreciation expense primarily attributable to the purchase of new tractors during 2009, the company says. Operating revenues gained 0.6 percent to $115.6 million, versus $114.9 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Despite the weak performance, the company said it has seen some positive signs near the end of the quarter, including improvements in freight demand, tightening capacity and stabilizing rates.

"While the company is uncertain if these trends will continue throughout the year it is positioned to add capacity and increase utilization to take advantage of increased shipments if the growth in the truckload marketplace is sustained," the carrier said, in a statement.

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