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Earnings Watch: Marten Profit Bumps 2% Higher

July 19, 2016

By Evan Lockridge

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Another trucking company has reported an increase in its second quarter earnings, but it’s also another small gain.

Temperature-controlled carrier Marten Transport Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRTN) says it had a 2.1% increase in net income, totaling $8.5 million, or 26 cents per diluted share compared to 25 cents per share a year earlier. The per share performance is 1 cent better than a consensus estimate by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue improved to $166.1 million, compared to $163.6 million in the second quarter of 2015, despite substantially lower fuel surcharges due to a drop in fuel prices this year. Operating revenue minus fuel surcharges improved 6.2% to $152.9 million.

“We have continued to demonstrate the strength of our multifaceted and diverse business model, which drove growth in our top line revenue and profitability despite pricing pressures and a soft freight market,” says Chairman and CEO Randolph L. "Randy" Marten.

The Wisconsin company grew its average number of truckload and dedicated tractors by 362 tractors, or 15.4%, in the first half of this year over the first half of 2015.

“We are confident in our ability to capitalize on further profitable growth opportunities with our unique business model and the dedicated people who have built it with their smart, hard work,” Marten said.

For the first six months of 2016, Marten reported net income $16.7 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $18.5 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue increased to $328 million from $324.9 million for the first half of 2015, as fuel surcharge revenue during the period decreased to $23.3 million from $40.2 million for the 2015 six-month period.

The performance follows numbers released on Monday by J.B. Hunt, the first fleet to report second quarter earnings, showing its profit was also just 2% higher over the past year with a similar increase in revenue.

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