Marten Transport Ltd. on Tuesday reported its highest net income and operating revenue for any quarter in its history.
For the fourth quarter of 2014, net income improved 22.8% to a record $9 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, from $7.3 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, during the same time a year earlier for the Wisconsin-based trucking operation.
Operating revenue, consisting of revenue from truckload, dedicated, intermodal and brokerage operations, increased 4.4% during the comparable time periods to a record $173.5 million from $166.2 million.
During all of 2014 net income decreased to $29.8 million, or 89 cents per diluted share, from $30.1 million, or 90 cents per diluted share in 2013, while operating revenue increased to $672.9 million for 2014 from $659.2 million.
"We are pleased to announce our most profitable quarter ever, as well as an operating ratio net of fuel surcharges that at 88.7% was our best quarterly performance in the last 10 years, said Chairman and CEO Randolph L. Marten. “We continue to drive gains in our key operating measures as our revenue per tractor increased 3.3% over last year's fourth quarter, our nineteenth consecutive quarterly increase."
According to Randolph Marten, the company grew the number of tractors in its truckload and dedicated segments by 78 in this year's fourth quarter and by 161 tractors during 2014, despite what he called “a difficult driver recruiting and retention environment.”
Marten said the company also improved the profitability of its intermodal operations from an operating loss in the third quarter to a 95.9% operating ratio in the fourth quarter, through a combination of rate increases, lane selectivity and slight improvements in rail service.
“We made these strides even though more favorable fuel costs have been somewhat offset by higher insurance and claims expense and driver wages,” he said. “Based on the foundation that has been laid by the smart, hard work and dedication of our people, we strongly believe we are well positioned to take advantage of the market's continuing tight capacity in 2015."
Marten also announced in the future it will move from two to four financial reporting segments, starting with the fourth quarter of 2014, reporting results in its truckload, dedicated, intermodal and brokerage segments, instead of just truckload and logistics operations.