The parent company to chemical bulk hauler Quality Carriers and intermodal tank container carrier Boasso America reported a loss in the final quarter of 2013 following a profit a year earlier.
Quality Distribution reported a net loss of $22.8 million or 85 cents per share, compared to net income of $5.7 million, or 21 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012. This was driven primarily by $35.6 million of non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges related to its energy logistics business, according to the company.
Total revenue during the period was $225.4 million compared to $215.4 million during the same time.
"Overall, our fourth quarter results were in line with our expectations of moderate improvement in adjusted earnings per share versus last year's fourth quarter," said Gary Enzor, chairman and CEO. "We continued our trend of generating solid levels of free cash flow and funding capital expenditures with asset sales, and our chemical and intermodal businesses performed well despite adverse weather conditions in certain areas of the country. These positives were somewhat offset by a difficult fourth quarter in our energy business where results, especially toward the end of the year, fell short of our expectations."
Revenue for 2013 was $929.8 million, an increase of 10.4% versus the same period last year, but the company reported a net loss of $42 million compared to a $50.1 million profit in 2012.
Revenue in the chemical logistics segment was $150.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 3.8% versus the fourth quarter of 2012. Operating income in the chemical logistics segment was $7.1 million, up $1 million versus the comparable prior-year period. Revenue in the energy logistics segment during the fourth quarter of 2013 was $42.2 million, up $3.1 million versus the prior-year period, Fourth quarter 2013 revenue in the intermodal segment was $32.9 million, up $1.5 million or 4.7% versus the prior-year period.
"The near-term and long-term outlook for the chemical logistics business remains positive, as all indications are that our U.S. chemical customers are poised to increase production capacity over the long-term, partially driven by the low-cost natural gas prices," said Enzor, "Our energy business remains in transition. The company's reorganization efforts, which are centered on moving the segment toward our proven asset-light business model, are progressing.
The news follows the company announcing earlier this month that Quality Carriers has expanded into the Denver, Colo. market.
"As the leading bulk carrier in North America, we've listened to our customers who have asked for options in the Denver market, both for local shipments as well as long haul," said Randy Strutz, president. "We've partnered with Kemps Transport, an experienced food grade carrier, to expand into the chemical segment."
More information on the company’s financial performance are available on its website.