Fleet Management

Earnings Watch: Saia, Heartland Express, Roadrunner, Con-way, Celadon

July 29, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Five more trucking companies have reported quarterly earnings – but not all showed gains compared to a year earlier.

Saia

The less-than-truckload carrier Saia Inc. (SAIA) saw a significant gain in its second quarter profit despite a more than 2% drop in revenue – and its fourth consecutive quarter of record earnings.

Net income totaled $19.2 million compared to $13.6 million the same time a year ago, or 75 cents per diluted share versus 53 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

This happened as revenue fell to $325.5 million in the most recent quarter from $330.4 million a year earlier.

Photo: Evan Lockridge
Photo: Evan Lockridge

Saia President and CEO Rick O'Dell noted that the results were achieved with improvements across the organization. "Network optimization efforts continue to be successful and our purchased transportation costs were down nearly 28% in the quarter, " he said. "Strong yield improvements continued in the quarter, and though we will continue to face difficult tonnage comparisons for the rest of the year, our network is balanced and our sales force is focused on finding customers that find our value proposition to be compelling."

For the second quarter of the year the Georgia-based fleet reported operating income increased 38% to $31.3 million.

LTL shipments were down 2.9% as LTL tonnage decreased 6%. LTL revenue per hundredweight increased by 3.9% despite the impact of lower year-over-year fuel surcharges.

More details are on the Saia website.

Heartland Express

Photo: Evan Lockridge
Photo: Evan Lockridge

The Iowa-based, primarily truckload company Heartland Express Inc. (HTLD) saw declines in both its profit and revenue, as it made "significant investments" in its fleet, raised driver pay and paid off its debt.

Net income totaled $23.3 million, an 11.9% decrease from a year earlier, while diluted and basic earnings per share both fell from 30 cents a year ago to 27 cents in the most recent quarter.

Operating revenues were $191.7 million, a 15.5% decrease compared to second quarter of 2014. This included fuel surcharge revenues of $25.7 million compared to $46.2 million a year earlier.

In releasing its earnings, the Iowa-based company highlighted its improvement in its operating ratio, to 81.4% compared to 84.9% in the first quarter of 2015; to 81.4% in second quarter of this year compared to 82.1% in the second quarter of 2014; and to 83.1% year to date compared to 86.4% year to date last year.

"We continue to show good progress towards our goal of getting our consolidated operating ratio, excluding gains on equipment, to our historical operating levels of the low 80s prior to the Gordon Trucking Inc. acquisition in November 2013,” said Heartland Express CEO Michael Gerdin. “During this same time period we have made significant capital investments in our fleet, increased our driver wages 13%, and paid off our entire debt balance."

More information is available on the Heartland Express website.

Roadrunner Transportation Systems

The asset-light transportation and logistics service provider Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. (RRTS) reported increased earnings and revenue for the second quarter of the year, hitting some new records.

Net income for the period was $16.5 million, compared to $14.8 million in the second quarter of 2014, as revenue increased 12.5% to $517.9 million.

Operating income was $31.2 million, compared to $27 million in the prior year quarter for the Wisconsin-based company, while diluted earnings per share totaled 42 cents compared to 38 over the same time frame.

“We were pleased that our truckload and transportation management solutions (TMS) segments once again had record operating income in the second quarter,” said Mark DiBlasi, president and CEO. “Our truckload segment surpassed its previous quarterly record for operating income by 4.3%. Our TMS segment surpassed its previous quarterly record for operating income by 14.5%.”

Truckload revenues increased 28% to $295.5 million for the second quarter of 2015. The improvement was due to the acquisitions of and growth within ISI and Active Aero, according to the company. Truckload operating income was $20.5 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared with $16.1 million for the second quarter of 2014.

LTL revenues fell 7.5% to $138.9 million, but operating income increased 5.5% to 8.4 million in the second quarter of 2015. LTL revenues were affected by a drop in fuel prices that resulted in a 32.2% decrease in fuel surcharge revenue, as well as by an 11.4% reduction in tonnage primarily due to changes in freight mix, according to Roadrunner. This was partially offset by an 11.2% increase in revenue per hundredweight excluding fuel from the prior year second quarter, due to improved pricing and positive freight mix changes as a result of its pricing initiatives.

“TMS revenues grew by $7.9 million, or 9.6%, during the second quarter of 2015 from the prior year second quarter, due to organic revenue growth. The positive impact of organic revenue growth led to a 26.1% increase in TMS operating income quarter-over-quarter,” said DiBlasi.

For the third quarter the company anticipates revenues to be in the range of $530 million to $555 million, with diluted earnings per share excluding acquisition transaction expenses, to be between 43 cents and 47 cents.

You can find more on the Roadrunner website.

Con-way

Photo: Con-way
Photo: Con-way

Trucking and logistics provider Con-way Inc.(CNW), announced second-quarter 2015 net income of $44 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, down from net income of $53.7 million, or 93 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2015 was $84 million, an 18.2% decrease from a year ago. This included $8.3 million of higher vehicular claims expense, reflecting a spike in accident severity at Con-way Freight, according to the company.

Revenue of $1.43 billion for the 2015 second quarter represented a drop of 4.4% from last year’s period for the Michigan-based company.

For the second quarter of 2015, the LTL operation Con-way Freight reported revenue of $916.9 million, a 2.5% decrease from a year earlier. The revenue decline was primarily due to lower fuel surcharges and lower tonnage, partially offset by improved pricing, according to the company.

Revenue per hundredweight increased 0.4% compared to the second quarter of the prior year. Excluding the fuel surcharge, yield rose 5.5%.

Tonnage per day decreased 3% compared to last year’s second quarter, reflecting softer demand as well as the effects of earlier lane-based pricing and network optimization activities.

Operating income totaled $69.5 million, a 16.3% decrease

Operating income results included the effects of higher driver wages and benefits from earlier announced driver pay increases, as well as the increase in vehicle claims expense, according to the company. Worsening the comparison, the prior year second quarter included a $3.4 million gain from the sale of property.

“Yield management and operating efficiencies mitigated much of the impact of increased driver wages in the quarter,” said Douglas W. Stotlar, Con-way president and CEO. “Daily tonnage was lower due to softer demand from industrial shippers and the impact of earlier efforts to improve pricing and increase density in the network. Our focus going forward is on continuing to drive benefit from revenue management activities and executing on initiatives for long-term profitable growth.”

Con-way Truckload reported revenue of $142.7 million, a 13% drop from the same time last year. Results were impacted primarily by lower fuel surcharge revenues and lower total loaded miles, somewhat offset by increased base rates, according to the company.

Operating income of $9.3 million was a 31% decrease from the prior year, due to increased driver pay-per-mile coupled with lower asset utilization.

Con-way’s Menlo Logistics reported revenue of $405.9 million, a 6.4% decrease from the second quarter of the prior year. The revenue decline was primarily the result of customer-directed changes in operations, as well as decreases in fuel surcharge revenue, according to the company

On the upside, operating income for Menlo was $8 million, a 24.7% increase, mainly due to better pricing and strong cost controls, the company said.

More details on the company’s financial performance can be found on the Con-way website.

Celadon Group

Photo: Evan Lockridge
Photo: Evan Lockridge

A parent to multimodal trucking operations, Indiana-headquartered Celadon Group Inc. (CGI), saw increases in revenue but not in profits.

Total revenue for the quarter rose 28.3%, to $253.3 million from a year earlier, as freight revenue excluding fuel surcharges increased 39% to $223.3 million.

Net income fell 22.6% to $12 million in the 2015 quarter, but operating income increased 75.4% to $21.4 million.

Earnings per diluted share fell to 47 cents during quarter from 65 cents for the same quarter last year.

"The financial results for the June 2015 quarter and 2015 fiscal year were the best in our history,” said Paul Will, president and CEO. “Freight demand and capacity were closely aligned during the quarter, which allowed us to provide a high level of service to our customers at an increasing rate level.”

He said operations, maintenance and fuel expenses all decreased as a percentage of revenue in the June 2015 quarter as compared with the June 2014 quarter, which was a result of a newer fleet with more fuel-efficient equipment and the reduction in diesel fuel cost.

"Our primary focus over the past couple of years has been to expand our service offerings to our customers and grow our capacity of seated tractors, which has resulted in freight revenue growth for the June 2015 quarter of approximately 38.9% over the June 2014 quarter,” said Eric Meek, chief operating officer. “Our average revenue per tractor per week increased $57, or 1.9%, to $3,058 in the June 2015 quarter, from $3,001 in the June 2014 quarter. This was attributable to the increased revenue per loaded mile, which is a combination of rate increases and higher rate levels from acquired businesses.

There is more to digest from company’s report, which can be found on the Celadon website

You can also read about other second quarter fleet earnings by following this link.

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