Fleet Management

Earnings Watch: YRC, Universal Truckload Post Smaller Profits

October 27, 2016

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Earnings for the parent of the mainly less-than-truckload carrier YRC Freight and others turned in a smaller third quarter numbers late Thursday while one logistics operator also reported its profit is down from a year ago.

YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ:YRCW) net income fell to $16.2 million, or 42 cents per share, 2 cents less than one consensus estimate from analysts. This compares to net income of $17.9 million, or 61 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue for the most recent period totaled $1.22 billion, down from $1.24 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Operating income also moved lower to $38.8 million from $47.7 million.

"Our third quarter 2016 financial results were impacted by the soft industrial backdrop and lower fuel surcharge revenue compared to a year ago," said James Welch, CEO. "Year-over-year tonnage per day was down during the quarter, although it was the smallest decline at YRC Freight and the regional segment in several quarters. We continue to believe pricing discipline in the LTL sector remains steady despite the near-term headwinds.”

YRC Freight improved its reported operating ratio by 60 basis points to 97.3, according to the Kansas-based company. The improvement at YRC Freight was more than offset by a decline of 250 basis points at the regional segment with a reported operating ratio of 95.1 for third quarter 2016.

Third quarter tonnage per day decreased 1.3% at YRC Freight and 1.5% at the regional segment compared to third quarter 2015.

At YRC Freight, excluding fuel surcharge, third quarter 2016 revenue per shipment increased 1.3% and revenue per hundredweight increased by 0.3% when compared to the same period in 2015. Including fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment decreased 0.4% and revenue per hundredweight decreased by 1.4%.

For the regional segment, excluding fuel surcharge, third quarter 2016 revenue per shipment increased 0.3% and revenue per hundredweight increased by 1.5% compared to the third quarter 2015. Including fuel surcharge, revenue per shipment decreased 0.9% and revenue per hundredweight increased 0.3%.

"We are managing through the current state of the economy by continuing to invest in technology and revenue equipment while focusing on actions that position our company well for the long-term such as customer service and enhancing safety," Welch said. “Following the recent installations of the in-cab safety technology, we are seeing a reduction in the type of accidents at YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn that these investments were designed to prevent.”

Universial Logistics Earnings Fall by $4.2 Million 

Meantime, trucking and logistics provider Universal Logistics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ULH) reported third quarter 2016 net income of $5 million, 18 cents share, on total operating revenues of $271.5 million  The per share performance matched a consensus estimate from analysts.

This compares to $9.2 million, or 32 cents per share, during third quarter 2015 on total operating revenues of $284.2 million.

Operating revenue from transportation services decreased $14.5 million year over year, including a decline of $3.3 million in fuel surcharges, to $163.6 million for the quarter ending Oct. 1. This compares to $178.1 million for the same period last year.

The reduction in transportation services also reflects a 10.3% year-over-year decrease in average operating revenue per load, excluding fuel surcharges, according to the Michigan-based company.

The declines in transportation service revenues were, however, partly offset by a 2.7% increase in the number of loads hauled. During the quarter Universal said it hauled 154,700 loads compared to 150,668 during the same period last year.

Overall, value-added services revenue increased $3.6 million to $72 million in the third quarter of 2016, compared to $68.4 million in the same period last year. Revenue from intermodal services declined by $1.8 million to $35.9 million in the third quarter from $37.7 million a year earlier. 

"We are encouraged by the growth in our value-added business and are launching new programs at the fastest pace in our recent history," said Jeff Rogers, CEO. "Despite these positive trends, we continue to face challenges in the heavy-truck market where we've seen our operating revenues decline in excess of 30% compared to last year."

He believe Universal is at or near the bottom of the cycle in this market, but the company expects the current conditions to persist for at least the near term.

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