Con-way Inc. on Wednesday announced first-quarter 2015 net income surged to $21.8 million, or 37 cents per diluted share, from $12.9 million, or 22 cents per diluted share a year earlier.
The Michigan-based trucking operation’s revenue was basically flat at around $1.37 billion.
For the first quarter of 2015, the less-than-truckload operation Con-way Freight reported revenue of $855.6 million, a 0.9% increase from $848 million in the first quarter of the prior year.
The year-over-year revenue benefit of higher base rates was largely offset by lower fuel surcharges, and to a lesser extent, lower tonnage, according to the company.
Operating income was $37.4 million, more than double the $18.6 million in the previous-year first quarter. The higher operating income was due to increased pricing and lower operating expense.
Revenue per hundredweight, or yield, increased 3.6% compared to the prior-year first quarter. Excluding fuel surcharge, yield rose 8.6%. Tonnage per day decreased 1.4% compared to last year's first quarter.
"Con-way Freight delivered substantially improved results this quarter, reflecting sustained progress with our revenue management initiatives," said Douglas W. Stotlar, Con-way's president and CEO. "While daily tonnage declined slightly compared to last year's first quarter, we were able to increase yield. Going forward, we remain focused on initiatives to drive long-term profitable growth."
Meantime, Con-way Truckload had revenue of $138.7 million, an 11.1% decrease from $156 million in last year's first quarter.
The revenue decline was primarily due to lower fuel surcharge revenue. Excluding fuel surcharge, revenue also was adversely affected by lower fleet utilization due to fewer seated tractors, which reduced total loaded miles, partially offset by higher revenue per loaded mile, according to Con-way.
Operating income totaled $7.6 million, an 18.5% increase from $6.4 million in the first quarter of the prior year. The higher operating income was mostly attributable to lower expenses and improved pricing.
"The tight driver market is limiting our ability to fully seat our fleet. However, we were encouraged with early results from innovative, new recruiting efforts to bring more drivers into our company, and incent them to stay," said Stotlar. "At the same time, we improved our profit performance, which benefited from lower fuel and other operating costs."
Con-way’s Menlo Logistics operation reported revenue of $417.1 million, a 2.6% increase from $406.4 million in the first quarter of the prior year. The increase was attributable to growth in revenue for both warehouse management and transportation management services, according to the company.
Operating income was $8.6 million, a 39.6% increase from $6.2 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Strong cost controls coupled with improved pricing were largely responsible for the increased operating income.
"Menlo turned in a solid quarter with across-the-board increases in revenues, net revenues and operating income," said Stotlar. "Our emphasis remains on securing profitable new business and continuing to improve operating performance with existing accounts."