Saia, ABF Freight Report Contrasting 1Q Results

April 30, 2012

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Two different LTL carriers, Saia Inc. and ABF Freight, reported opposite 1Q financial results. While Saia reported huge increases from 1Q 2011 to 1Q 2012, ABF Freight reported huge losses.

Saia, a Georgia-based multi-regional LTL carrier reported earnings of $5.5 million, or 34 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared to $713,000, or 4 cents per share for the previous year's quarter. The company's revenue rose 11% to $268.7 million, and operating income increased to $11 million from $4.1 million in the prior-year period

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a profit of 19 cents per share on revenue of $272.8 million.

LTL tonnage increased by 2.6% as LTL shipments per workday were down slightly with a 3.3% increase in LTL weight per shipment. LTL yield was up 7.9% due to the impact of favorable pricing actions and higher fuel surcharges

ABF Freight, the LTL arm and largest operating unit of Arkansas Best Corp, Fort Smirth, Ark., reported a $22 million operating loss for the first quarter.

The LTL carrier's daily tonnage dropped 10.6% year-over-year, and its revenue per hundredweight, or yield, a measure of pricing, rose 11.5% from last year's first quarter.

The drop in daily tonnage after price hikes in 2011 contributed to an $18.2 million net loss in the first quarter for its parent company.

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