Net income didn't change much, falling 1.3 percent to $87.7 million from $88.9 million in the fourth quarter 2008. Diluted earnings per share remained the same as the year-ago quarter at 52 cents.
The company managed to get its total revenue up 2.7 percent during the quarter to about $2 billion, compared with about $1.955 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.
"We're proud of our results in 2009," said John P. Wiehoff, chairman and CEO of C.H. Robinson. "Our focus on gaining market share through sales and account management, our variable-cost business model, and our expanded menu of services enabled us to be flexible and continue to find opportunities in the marketplace."
Within the company's truck sector, which consists of truckload and less-than-truckload services, net revenue was down 2.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. Truckload volumes were up about 13 percent, while truckload net revenue margins slipped due to declining transportation rates. The company's LTL net revenues increased due to volume increases, largely offset by price declines and decreased net revenue margin.
"The trends of margin compression and accelerating volume growth in our North American truckload service during the fourth quarter of 2009 have continued into January," Wiehoff said. "On a per business day basis, in January 2010 our total net revenues are roughly flat. Although we're pleased with our continued volume growth, our margin comparisons will continue to be challenging."