Fleet Management

Earnings Watch: Celadon, ODFL, YRC Worldwide, ArcBest, Hub Group

October 30, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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More trucking companies have released their third quarter financial earnings, including three less-than-truckload operations, along with a truckload operator and logistics/intermodal provider, all showing improvements from a year earlier or at least maintaining their ground, despite complaints about the recent freight-hauling environment.

Celadon Gains Big With More Drivers

Celadon Group Inc. (CLDN) net income shot up to $11.4 million in the most recent quarter from $8 million for the same quarter last year as it increased its seated tractor count dramatically.

Earnings per diluted share increased to 41 cents from 34 cents for the same quarter last year, on a 16.8% increase in weighted average diluted shares, resulting primarily from the company's public offering completed in May.

Revenue for the quarter increased 37.6% to $266.1 million in the most recent quarter from $193.4 million the same period last year.

Freight revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, increased 50.8% to $237.8 million in most recent quarter from $157.7 million a year earlier.

CEO Paul Will said the company was pleased overall with its operating results in what he called “a less-than-robust freight environment.”

“We saw improvement in some of our key operating statistics that we believe will be beneficial long term, as capacity is challenged by a very competitive driver recruiting market, in addition to the numerous pending and proposed federal safety initiatives such as electronic logging devices (ELDs) and mandatory truck speed limiters,” he said.

Celadon said its average seated tractor count, which increased 1,730 to 4,985 in the quarter compared with 3,255 a year earlier, was “a significant operating metric improvement that resulted in increased revenue for the quarter.”

The Indiana-based carrier said average revenue per tractor per week decreased 3.0%, to $2,889 from $2,977 a year earlier, due the lackluster freight environment coupled with the significant growth in its seated tractor count.

More numbers are on the Celadon website.

ODFL’s Shipment Increase at Double-Digit Pace Again

Meantime, in the less-than-truckload sector, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. (ODFL) announced net income rose 8.3% to $84.4 million for the third quarter of 2015 from $77.9 million for the third quarter last year, while earnings per diluted share increased to 99 cents from 90 cents.

Revenue increased 4.8% to $779.5 million for the third quarter of 2015 from $743.6 million in the third quarter of 2014.

"We continued to win market share and produced significant improvement in our operating ratio, despite some softening in the economic environment,” said David S. Congdon, vice chairman and CEO. “Our revenue growth for the quarter included a 6.6% increase in LTL tons that was partially offset by a 1.6% decrease in LTL revenue per hundredweight. This decrease in yield reflects the significant year-over-year decline in fuel surcharges, as we believe the pricing environment remained stable during the quarter.”

The company also reported LTL revenue per hundredweight, excluding fuel surcharges, increased 5.2% for the third quarter of 2015 compared with the third quarter of 2014. LTL shipments continued to increase at a double-digit pace for the seventh consecutive quarter, up 11.7% for the third quarter - while LTL weight per shipment declined 4.6%.

There are more details on the ODFL website.

YRC Worldwide Boosts Profitability

Another LTL also reported improved results, as YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) third quarter net income increased to $19.8 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, compared to just $1.2 million, or a loss of 3 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Revenue for the third quarter of 2015 was $1.245 billion with operating income reported at $47.7 million, compared to revenue of $1.323 billion for the third quarter of 2014 with operating income of $26.7 million.

Tonnage per day decreased 6.2% at the company's national LTL operation, YRC Freight, and fell 3.5% for the company’s regional segment.

Excluding fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment increased 7% at YRC Freight and revenue per hundredweight increased by 5.8%. Including fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment increased 0.7% and revenue per hundredweight decreased by 0.4%.

At the regionals, excluding fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment increased 5% and revenue per hundredweight increased by 4.1%. Including fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment decreased 0.7% and revenue per hundredweight decreased by 1.5%.

"During the third quarter of this year, we continued to stay committed to our strategy of placing pricing improvements and profitability ahead of tonnage growth," said CEO James Welch. "We stayed focused, we stayed disciplined, we invested in our people and we invested in the business. As a result, operating, financial and safety performance improved.... We plan to continue focusing on operational improvements while reinvesting back into our people, equipment and technology.”

There is more information on the YRC Worldwide website.

ArcBest Profit Down Slightly but Strong

The parent of LTL carrier ABF Freight, ArcBest Corp., reported third quarter 2015 net income of $19.2 million, or 72 cents per diluted share, down just slightly from third quarter 2014 net income of $19.6 million, though earnings per diluted share were unchanged.

Revenue also fell slightly, from $711.3 in the third quarter of 2014 to $709.4 million in the most recent quarter.

The Arkansas-based company said it reported a solid quarter given weaker than expected freight markets, resulting from high inventories, lower industrial-related manufacturing production, and weaker consumer spending.

"Despite economic effects and lower fuel surcharges, ABF Logistics, ABF Moving and FleetNet America all produced double-digit increases in revenue, and ABF Freight generated a solid improvement in its operating ratio through better use of resources,” said ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds. “Panther contributed profitable results and new account growth but experienced lower revenue per load compared to record prior year levels when spot truckload capacity was constrained and fuel surcharges were higher."

ABF Freight reported revenue of $511.3 million compared to $523.4 million in third quarter 2014, a decrease of 2.3%.

Excluding adjustments for pension settlement charges, ABF’s operating income of $27.1 million and operating ratio of 94.7% compared to operating income of $25.4 million and an operating ratio of 95.2% in third quarter 2014.

Tonnage per day decrease of 2.5% versus the third quarter 2014.

Total billed revenue per hundredweight increased 0.5% compared to the prior year overcoming the impact of lower fuel surcharges, according to the company. Excluding fuel surcharge, the increase in total billed revenue per hundredweight was in the mid-single digits.

There are more details on ArcBest’s performance from Marketwatch.

Hub Group Earnings Skyrocket

Intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services provider Hub Group Inc.'s third quarter profit more than quadrupled.

Net income totaled $19.8 million, or diluted earnings per share of 55 cents, compared to $4.5 million, or 12 cents per share in the third quarter of 2014.

Hub Group's revenue dropped 1% to $900 million, primarily to lower fuel revenue.

Third quarter intermodal revenue decreased 0.2% to $460 million. Truck brokerage revenue was flat at $84 million this quarter, while Unyson Logistics revenue decreased 7% to $137 million.

Hub’s specialty trucking business, Mode Transportation, saw revenue decrease 2% to $239 million.

“The business levels in the third quarter continued the positive momentum we experienced in the second quarter,” said David Yeager, chairman and CEO. “Revenue for both Highway and Intermodal did decline somewhat due to the reduction of fuel costs, but volumes and pricing continued to be strong. Unyson Logistics had a slight decline due to a loss of a major customer, but we feel as though the pipeline is strong and that the business levels will continue to recover for the remainder of the year."

You can find more information on the Hub Group website.

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