Asset-light freight transportation provider Universal Truckload Services saw improvements in both its yearly and final quarter profit, according to newly released numbers.

Net income late year was $50.6 million on total operating revenues of $1.03 billion, compared to net income of $47.7 million and operating revenues of $1.04 billion a year earlier for the Michigan-based operation.

During the fourth quarter of last year net income totaled $11.3 million on total operating revenue of $259.5 million, compared to $2.5 million of net income on total operating revenue of $259.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Earnings per basic and diluted shares were 38 cents for the fourth quarter of 2013 and $1.68 per basic and diluted shares for the full year.

“Fourth quarter operating income from our logistics segment was dampened by phasing out an aerospace operation due to reductions in military spending, by additional scheduled holiday downtime by selected automotive customers compared to one year earlier, by the late-year launch of a new automotive operation, and due to an industrial customer's in-sourcing of a value-added services operation,” the company said in a statement.

Operating revenues from transportation services totaled $179.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to $180.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Revenues from intermodal services declined 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, to $31.6 million, compared to $35 million one year earlier. Revenues for all of 2013 increased 9.2% to $131.4 million.  It notes the fourth quarter 2013 comparison to the prior year is challenging due to strong demand for intermodal services in late 2012 from an affiliated less-than-truckload carrier.

"Our largest customers performed well throughout 2013, and Universal's overall financial performance reflects their confidence in us,” said Universal's Chief Executive Officer, Scott Wolfe. “However, a harsh winter presents challenges and disruptions to the trucking industry, generally, and to the supply chain operations of our key customers. Our outlook for the next few quarters is decidedly mixed, and we are cautious about prospects for near-term growth."

Universal Truckload Services also announced its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 7 cents per share of common stock, payable to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 3 and is expected to be paid on March 13.

More information is on the Universal Truckload Services website