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Heartland Earnings Jump 67%, Profit Falls 28%

April 23, 2014

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Iowa-based truckload carrier Heartland Express has reported record operating revenue for the first quarter of the year, but its profit fell 28.4% from the same time a year ago.

Operating revenue was $224.5 million, an increase of 67.2%, primarily due to the November 2013 acquisition of Gordon Trucking.

For the quarter net income was $14.1 million, compared to $19.7 million a year earlier, resulting in earnings per share of 16 cents versus 23 cents during the same time.

“Fleet utilization and operating results for the quarter were negatively impacted by severe winter weather across the eastern half of the U.S.,” the company said in a statement. “The company continues to be challenged by the impact of government hours-of-service regulations including the 34- hour restart and a thirty-minute break within the first eight hours of driving that were effective July 1, 2013.”

Heartland says the average age of its tractor fleet has increased from 2.1 years to 2.6 years quarter-to-quarter, but it took delivery of 151 new trucks during the first quarter, while approximately 1,000 new trucks are scheduled to be delivered throughout 2014.

The average age of the company's trailer fleet was 4.8 years at the end of March 2014 compared to 3.1 years a year ago. It says the increase in the average age was primarily due to the age of the Gordon Trucking fleet upon acquisition. Heartland is continuing its process of updating the Gordon Trucking trailer fleet, getting rid of model years 2007 and prior, and began taking delivery of 1,000 new Wabash dry van trailers during March 2014.

More details are available from MarketWatch.

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