Swift Transportation Co. tripled its net income in the first quarter of the year, totaling $37.8 million, compared to $12.3 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share of 26 cents, compare to 9 cents a year earlier.
Total revenue edged higher by 0.7% to $1.015 billion for the Arizona-based company, while revenue minus fuel surcharge grew 9.5% to $894.9 million.
The company’s truckload revenue minus fuel surcharge for the first quarter of 2015 increased $468.8 million from $441.1 million a year earlier, while total revenue fell to $538.3 from $553.1 million. Operating income increased to $56.9 million from $31.9 million.
Dedicated revenue minus fuel surcharge grew to $196.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $157.1 million a year ago. This growth was driven by the various new contracts awarded over the last 12 months, which also drove a 23.6% increase in its average operational truck count year-over-year, according to the company. Total revenue increased from $193.7 in the first quarter of 2014 to $217.8 in the most recent quarter, while operating income increased to $14.4 million from $11.5 million.
At Swift’s Central Refrigerated Services operation, revenue minus fuel surcharge fell to $81.1 million from $83.6 million, while total revenue fell to $95.6 million from $106.8 million. Despite the declines, operating income increased to $4.8 million from $2.4 million.
The intermodal segment had revenue minus fuel surcharge of $77.3 million compared to $72.9 million a year earlier, while total revenue fell slightly to $90.4 million from $91.3 million. Its operating loss widened from $926,000 in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.2 million in the first quarter of this year, but was better than the $1.6 million loss in the first quarter of 2013.
To continue with its overall growth Swift said it is targeting a 2015 enterprise-wide fleet growth of 700 to 1,100 tractors, with 218 of them in the first quarter.