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Earnings Watch: Roadrunner Transportation, USA Truck

August 4, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. (RRTS) on Tuesday reported increases for both profit and revenue for the second quarter of the year.

Net income was $16.5 million compared to $14.8 million in the second quarter of 2014 or diluted earnings per share of 42 cents versus 38 cents during the same time.

Revenue increased 12.5% to $517.9 million as operating income was $31.2 million, compared to $27 million in the prior year quarter.

Included in the second quarter 2015 results are approximately $1.2 million of severance expenses related to the separation with a former company executive officer, accordin to the WIsconsin-based asset-light trucking and logistics provider. Adjusted operating income was $32.4 million, compared with $27 million in the prior year quarter.

“We were pleased that our truckload and transportation management solutions (TMS) segments once again had record operating income in the second quarter,” said Mark DiBlasi, president and CEO. “Our truckload segment surpassed its previous quarterly record for operating income by 4.3%. Our TMS segment surpassed its previous quarterly record for operating income by 14.5%.”

Truckload revenues increased 28% to $295.5 million for the second quarter of 2015 from $230.8 million a year earlier. The improvement was due to the acquisitions of and growth within its ISI and Active Aero operatins, according to the company. Truckload operating income was $20.5 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared with $16.1 million for the second quarter of 2014.

LTL revenues decreased 7.5% to $138.9 million for the second quarter of 2015. LTL operating income was $8.4 million, or 6% of LTL revenues, for the second quarter of 2015, compared with $7.9 million, or 5.3% of LTL revenues a year earlier.

TMS revenues increased 9.6% to $89.7 million for the second quarter of 2015. The improvement in revenue was due to organic revenue growth, according to the company. TMS operating income was $7.7 million, or 8.6% of TMS revenues, for the second quarter of 2015, compared with $6.1 million, or 7.4% of TMS revenues, for the second quarter of 2014.

The company said it anticipates revenues for the third quarter of 2015 to be in the range of $530 million to $555 million with diluted earnings per share, excluding acquisition transaction expenses, to be between 43 cents and 47 cents.

More information is on the Roadrunner Transportation Systems website.

USA Truck

USA Truck Inc. (USAK) continues to improve its finances, and outlined a number of strategies it's implementing to improve further as part of its second quarter earnings announcement.

The Arkansas-based fleet said net income increased to $2.5 million from $800,000 for the 2014 quarter. Earnings per diluted share increased to 23 cents, up from 7 cents, during the same time period.

Revenue for the most recent quarter fell 12.9% to $133.6 million. Base revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, dropped 6.2% to $117.2 million.

The first quarter of this year was the company's first reported quarterly profit in eight years.

“Pricing and fuel efficiency were better than last year, while other areas still have significant room to improve, including maintenance, risk management and, importantly, driver retention,” said Tom Glaser, president and CEO. “In Strategic Capacity Solutions [the company’s brokerage operation], gross margin remained solid, reflecting steady pricing and lower fuel costs compared to the prior-year period. However, operating income declined due to lower revenue, higher purchased transportation costs and start-up expenses to support our growth plans.”

USA officials said they have taken a comprehensive look at the organization to determine where and how to accelerate the pace of improvement and have developed a series of actions that are either already underway or to be implemented.

Among those in its trucking segment are:

  • Employing network planning tools to more efficiently use revenue equipment and deploy its drivers;
  • Strict adherence to pricing and operational standards, prioritizing return on capital employed and network density over the absolute size of its operations;
  • Increasing driver take-home pay and home time through its planning actions and an optimized scheduling and dispatch protocol;
  • Cutting the size of its tractor fleet by 400 in 2015 through retirement of 800 high-cost tractors while maintaining purchases of new tractors at 400;
  • Rationalizing fixed costs and expenses to better align the company’s overhead that smaller fleet; and
  • Doing a comprehensive review of its maintenance facilities and approach to managing preventive maintenance expenses and over-the-road repairs.

“Our goal in trucking is to realize operating income improvements of approximately $50 million over the next several years through these and other high leverage opportunities,” said Glaser. “We also expect these efforts to position the company to respond faster and more favorably to new business opportunities and changes in market conditions.”

USA Truck also said it is also making improvements with its SCS segment by:

  • Increasing load volume through further centralization of its customer service organization and adding technology better enabling customers to leverage its carrier partners within their enterprise;
  • Introducing additional capacity solutions and value-added services to capture additional revenue streams, and accelerating growth by expanding its footprint for both mode of service and multiple trailer types, which today is predominantly dry van trailers. This includes increasing the number of loads with its carrier partners related to intermodal, refrigerated, flatbed, expedited, and less than truckload; and
  • Investing in branch office expansion, including through acquisitions, while reviewing productivity at existing branches.

More details are on the USA Truck website.

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