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Arkansas Best Renamed, Tightens First Quarter Losses

May 1, 2014

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The trucking operation, Arkansas Best, just renamed ArcBest, has reported a first quarter net loss of $2.9 million, or 11 cents per share, compared to a first quarter 2013 net loss of $13.4 million, or 52 cents per share.

Revenue during the period was $577.9 million compared to revenue of $520.7 million in the first quarter of 2013.

“This was a challenging quarter for our industry as severe weather across the nation disrupted operations,” said ArcBest President and Chief Executive Officer Judy R. McReynolds. “Excluding that impact, our companies performed well, with ABF Freight overcoming the previous year’s loss, Panther posting strong operating profit and FleetNet experiencing record business levels on many days.”

The company’s less-than-truck load division, ABF Freight, had $429 million in revenue versus $407.3 a year earlier, while its operating loss fell $12.2 million compared to $22.5 million during the same time.

“During this year’s first quarter, business level trends at ABF Freight were positive versus last year and progressively increased in each month of the quarter,” the company said. “As a result, capacity utilization improved and the lower cost structure resulting from ABF Freight’s recent labor contract contributed to more positive first quarter financial results.”

The expedite shipping operation, Panther Premium Logistics (formerly Panther Expedited Services), saw its revenue increase to $72.2 million compared to $53.2 million during the 2013 first quarter, while it reported a $3.4 million operating profit compared to an $864,000 loss.

ArcBest also reported improved operating profits for its emergency and preventative maintenance business, FleetNet America, as well as its logistics business, ABF Logistics. UPack, its household goods moving service, saw its operating loss wideen to $841,000 from $231,000 a year earlier.

ArcBest announced its name change from Arkanss Best on Wednesday, which also includes a new stock trading symbol, ARCB, and new unified logos “to strengthen its identity as a holistic provider of transportation and logistics solutions.”

ArcBest’s principal operating subsidiaries will continue to include ABF Freight and the emerging businesses ABF Logistics, Panther Premium Logistics and FleetNet America. ArcBest’s in-house staff of information technology professionals has been renamed ArcBest Technologies, formerly called Data-Tronics Corp.

The company will continue to be headquartered in Fort Smith, Ark., and other principal operating subsidiaries, Panther and FleetNet, will continue to be based in Ohio and North Carolina, respectively.

More details about the name change and the company's first quarter numbers can be found on its new website address: arcb.com.

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