Fleet Management

Earnings Watch: Saia Profit Declines 16%, Beats Estimates

February 05, 2016

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The less-than-truckload, expedited and logistics operation Saia Inc. (NASDAQ: SAIA), saw its fourth quarter profit decline to $11.4 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, from $13.6 million, or 53 cents per diluted share a year earlier. The results beat analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.31 by $0.14, Market Beat Ratings reports.

Revenue during the quarter fell 7% to $288 million for the Georgia-headquartered company.

LTL shipments were down 6.2% for the quarter compared to the same time in 2014. LTL tonnage declined 8.9% but LTL revenue per hundredweight increased 2.1%, despite lower year-over-year fuel surcharges.

"Consistent with our strategy over the past several years, we continued to focus on yield improvement in the fourth quarter," said Saia president and CEO Rick O'Dell. "With effective mix management, we realized improvements in both our yield and revenue per shipment, despite weak industrial freight volumes."

For the full year 2015, net income rose 5.8% to $55 million while diluted earnings per share improved by 12 cents to $2.14. Revenue fell 4% to $1.2 billion.

"While it is somewhat satisfying to report our fourth consecutive year of record earnings per share, we enter 2016 with some uncertainty with regarding the health of the industrial economy,” O'Dell said.

In an email to investors, David Ross with Stifel noted that Saia's LTL tonnage fell 8.9% year over year and total tonnage dropped 10%, worse than expected. Some of the volume declines were due to the company's "above-average exposure" to the oil/gas industry, he noted.

However, he said, the company's operating efficiency was better than expected, with an operating ratio of 93.9%.

More detailed numbers are on the Saia website.

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