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Earnings Watch: XPO Losses, Revenue Grow; USA Truck Profit Falls

November 4, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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XPO Logistics, which closed this week on its purchase of Con-Way Inc., reported more revenue but a bigger loss in its third-quarter earnings report, while the mainly truckload fleet USA Truck showed a smaller profit.

XPO Logistics Inc. (XPO) reported a net loss of $35.4 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $11.6 million for the same period in 2014.

The net loss attributable to common shareholders was $93.1 million, or 94 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $12.3 million, or a loss 23 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Total revenue increased 256.5% year-over-year to $2.4 billion, while operating income was $44.1 million versus an operating loss of $13.6 million a year earlier.

Prior to the acquisition of Con-way Inc., XPO's target EBITDA run rate was $625 million at year-end, a goal the company said it significantly exceeded three months early with its generation of $166 million of adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter.

Because of this, XPO has issued new financial targets for 2016 of EBITDA of at least $1.25 billion based on existing operations. For 2018 it expects adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.7 billion based on existing operations, an increase from the $1.5 billion previously targeted for 2019.

"In our first full quarter of global results, we drove adjusted EBITDA to $166 million, significantly exceeding our target," said Bradley Jacobs, chairman and CEO. "In our transportation segment, we improved margins year-over-year by optimizing our pricing and lowering our cost of purchased transportation in truck brokerage and intermodal, last mile, expedite and global forwarding.

“We're operating our logistics segment more profitably worldwide, and we're executing on an exciting pipeline of cross-selling opportunities. Our European operations overall are performing well ahead of expectations, adjusted EBITDA in Europe was up over 26% year-over-year for transport and 17% for logistics.”

XPO completed its purchase of the trucking company Con-way last Friday. Jacobs said it has reduced $30 million in annual expenses from the operation and has hired Tony Brooks as president of the less-than-truckload business, effective Nov. 11.

Brooks is a 30-year career transportation and logistics executive who has run three of the largest fleets in North America, according to XPO. He joins XPO from multinational food distributor Sysco, where he was responsible for North American field operations.

Meantime, a deeper look into the XPO earnings report shows its transportation segment generated total gross revenue of $1.4 billion for the quarter, a 128.1% increase from the same period in 2014. The year-over-year increase in segment revenue was primarily due to the acquisitions of Norbert Dentressangle, Bridge Terminal Transport, Atlantic Central Logistics and UX Specialized Logistics.

Third quarter adjusted EBITDA for the segment improved to $93.1 million, compared with $28.1 million a year ago. Operating income improved to $30.9 million, compared with $4.9 million a year ago.

XPO’s logistics segment generated gross revenue of $993.3 million, compared with $50.1 million from the same period in 2014. Net revenue was $810.0 million, up from $50.1 million a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA was $88.1 million, up from $8 million a year ago. Operating income was $36 million, versus $4.5 million a year ago.

For the first nine months of the year, XPO reported total revenue of $4.3 billion, a 180.6% increase from the same period in 2014. In contrast its net loss of $128.7 million grew during the first nine months of 2015, compared with a net loss of $53.7 million for the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2015 improved to $274.7 million, compared with $39.8 million for the same period in 2014.

There is more information on the XPO Logistics website.

USA Truck Net Income Declines, Speeding Up Improvement Strategy

USA Truck Inc. (USAK) reported net income decreased to $2.7 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, from $4 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, for the 2014 quarter.

Total revenue fell to $123.5 million from $153.6 million for the prior-year period as improved pricing was offset by lower volume, according to the Arkansas-based fleet.

Base revenue, which excludes fuel surcharges, decreased to $109.8 million from $125.9 million for the same period in the prior year.

Included in the results for the 2015 third quarter was a charge of $2.9 million, or $0.17, net-of-tax, per diluted share, relating to restructuring, severance and related costs.

“The third quarter was devoted to accelerating the pace of improvement in our trucking operations as we began implementing the strategic leadership and tactical initiatives we previously outlined,” said Tom Glaser, USA Truck’s president and CEO. “An important first step was to reorganize our trucking business and senior management team, including the appointment of a new president [of] trucking.

As part of the reorganization of USA's trucking business, Glaser said the company took steps to streamline overhead and realign roles and responsibilities.

"We took actions to rationalize our maintenance program and facilities, and continued to dispose of high-cost tractors while investing in newer equipment,” he said. “We believe these initiatives will improve operational efficiency and customer service, better align our fixed cost base with a newer and right-sized tractor fleet and better support our driver team members.”

USA’s trucking operation reported $2.5 million in operating income compared to a revised $2.2 million a year earlier as revenue fell to $85 million versus a revised $108.3. However, in the first nine month of this year, operating income improved to $6.6 million compared to a revised loss of $6.3 million in the first nine months of 2014.

Its Strategic Capacity Solutions business, which includes brokerage, intermodal and other value-added services, saw third quarter revenue fall to $38.5 million compared to a revised $45.3 million a year earlier as operating income also declined to $3 million from a revised $5.3 million.

During the third quarter of 2015, the company changed its accounting policy for tires, causing historical financial results to be recast to reflect the change in accounting.

More details are on the USA Truck website.

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