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Earnings Watch: Schneider Profit Rises 5.2%

August 1, 2017

By Evan Lockridge

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Trucking, intermodal and logistics services provider Schneider National Inc. on Aug. 1 reported that its second quarter profit increased 5.2% from a year earlier while revenue improved 8.1%.

Net income totaled $46.5 million as earnings per share fell to 27 cents from 28 cents. Adjusted earnings totaled 23 cents per share, meeting Wall Street expectations.

The increase in revenue to $1.075 billion was largely attributed to the June 2016 acquisitions of carriers Watkins & Shepard and Lodeso, higher fuel surcharge revenue, brokerage growth, and revenue generated from the company's equipment leasing business

“We are pleased with our performance in the second quarter and reported overall results that were in line with what we had expected across all three of our businesses, including a number of key customer wins that we anticipate will help set the stage for our results in the second half of 2017,” said Chris Lofgren, CEO.

Schneider’s truckload segment reported revenue excluding fuel surcharge of $543 million, a 4.5% improvement from a year earlier while income from operations fell 13.7% to $53.2 million.

Inflationary driver costs and lower gain on sale of equipment due to the continued weakness in the used equipment market were partially offset by earnings improvements from effective fleet sizing, freight selection, and improving market conditions throughout the quarter, according to the company.

Intermodal segment revenue minus fuel surcharges increased 3.8% to $194.3 million while income from operations decreased 17.7% to $11.2 million.

The hike in Intermodal revenue minus fuel surcharges was due to a 10.6% increase in intermodal volume partially offset by a 6.2% decrease in revenue per order, according to Schneider. Intermodal revenue per order was $1,858, a decrease of $123 compared to second quarter 2016 due to growth in the East and Intra-West, which have shorter lengths of haul, and the continued competitive pricing environment.

Schneider’s logistics segment saw revenue excluding fuel surcharge increase 7.2% to $191.8 million while income from operations fell 18.6% to $6.6 million.

The increase in logistics revenue was primarily due to growth in the company’s brokerage business, which made up 73% of the operation in the quarter compared to 72% a year earlier.

Despite the growth in brokerage volume, market conditions resulted in increased third party transportation costs compared to second quarter 2016 as evidenced by a decline in gross margin, according to Schneider.

Looking ahead, Lofgren said market pressures in the first quarter of the year continued into the second quarter. However, in June, indications of an improving market began to appear.

“July is always a challenging month, so we will have a better read by mid-August, but we are cautiously optimistic that the market will see strengthening in the second half of 2017,” he said. “The market improvement, our efforts to increase driver capacity, new dedicated contracts, and our ongoing revenue management work positions us well for the second half of 2017.”

The company anticipates full year 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share in the range of 94 cents to $1.02, which includes the impact of increased share count from the company's initial public offering of shares.

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