July 19, 2012
CORRECTED, UPDATED -- This week saw quarterly financial reports from a number of large publicly traded truck fleets, with truckload and intermodal giant Swift Transportation reporting profits up 72% from a year ago. The quarter also saw improved profits at Marten and Werner, while USA Truck and Heartland Express saw earnings fall.Swift beat market expectations, with profits up 72% from a year ago. Net income rose to $33.7 million, or 24 cents a share, from $19.6 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago. The company said it expects adjusted earnings growth of 20% this year, including intermodal container growth of 2,000 units from July to November. Weekly tractor revenue rose almost 4% compared with the second quarter of 2011, with net fuel expenses falling 26%.Marten Transport reported a 22.4% increase in net income to $7.6 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter, from $6.2 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, for 2Q 2011. Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload and logistics operations, increased to $157 million for 2Q 2012 from $151.1 million in the same period in 2011 for the temperature-controlled fleet.Werner Enterprises, Omaha, Neb., reported only a 1% increase in total revenue of $521.8 million compared to a year ago, but saw an 11% increase year over year in net income, up to $30.7 million, thanks to a seasonally improving freight market, operating margin expansion and logistics growth.USA Truck Inc., Van Buren, Ark., was not so successful. Revenue of $103.5 million for the quarter fell 4.6% from 2011, and the company had a net loss of $3.5 million for the quarter, compared to net income of $0.6 million for the same quarter of 2011.Heartland Express saw improved revenue but higher operating costs. Operating revenues for the quarter rose 1.8% to $139.7 million over a year ago, but net income for fell 19% to $18.2 million compared to $22.5 million in the 2011 quarter period. Earnings per diluted share fell 16% to 21 cents from 25 cents reported in the second quarter of 2011. Heartland has also been updating its fleet, noting that it increased its fleet in the second quarter from a year earlier despite driver market challenges.Corrected 10:15 EDT to correct Werner numbers. We apologize for the error.Updated 10:25 EDT to add Swift results.