Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

The trucking operation Landstar System Inc. reported record quarterly revenue on Thursday as part of its fourth quarter earnings release.

Revenue totaled $863 million for its fiscal quarter ending Dec. 27 2014 compared to $692 million for same time period in 2013.

Net income for the Florida-based carrier fell to $38.5 million from $59.6 million a year earlier when its business still included Landstar Supply Chain Solutions before it was sold to XPO Logistics. However, net income from continuing operations was up compared to a year earlier when it totaled $25.2 million.

Diluted earnings per share in the most recent quarter were 86 cents, the highest from continuing operations in the company’s history, compared to 55 cents a year earlier. It fell when compared to discontinued operations in the final quarter of 2013, when it totaled $1.30 per share.

Truck transportation revenue hauled by independent contractors and truck brokerage carriers in the 2014 fourth quarter was $811.2 million, or 94% of revenue, compared to $643.6 million, or 93% of revenue, in the 2013 fourth quarter. Revenue hauled by rail, air and ocean cargo carriers was $41 million, or 5% of revenue, in the 2014 fourth quarter compared to $39 million, or 6% of revenue, the same time a year earlier.

Landstar also announced that effective Jan. 29. company President and CEO Jim Gattoni joined the board of directors of Landstar System.

“Demand for Landstar's truck transportation services in the 2014 fourth quarter continued to be extremely strong, as the number of loads hauled via truck increased 11% over the 2013 fourth quarter. Revenue per load hauled via truck also remained very strong and increased 14% over the 2013 fourth quarter,” said Gattoni. “In fact, Landstar's average revenue per load hauled via truck in the 2014 fourth quarter set a new record and was up 4% over the record set in the company's 2014 third quarter.”

He said Landstar also experienced very strong revenue growth over the 2013 fourth quarter with respect to both loads hauled with van equipment and with unsided/platform equipment, with revenue increasing 28% and 24%, respectively.

“2014 was truly an exceptional year for Landstar as the company surpassed $3 billion in revenue for the first time in its history. In addition to revenue, annual records were set for many other financial metrics including gross profit, operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations."

For its 2014 fiscal year, Landstar revenue was nearly $3.2 billion compared to almost $2.7 billion for 2013, while net income from continuing operations totaled $139 million compared to $109 million during the same time periods.

So far this year, Gattoni said the strength in both the number of loads hauled by truck and truck revenue per load experienced in the 2014 fourth quarter has continued.

“Assuming continued strength in both load volume and revenue per load from truck transportation services throughout the remainder of the 2015 first quarter, I anticipate revenue for the 2015 first quarter to be in a range of $750 million to $800 million. And, assuming that range of estimated revenue, I would anticipate 2015 first quarter diluted earnings per share to be in a range of 71 cents to 76 cents per share compared to 61 cents per diluted share in the 2014 first quarter,” he said.