Freight transportation services provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. on Thursday reported higher profits for the final quarter of 2016 and for all of last year.
Fourth quarter 2016 net earnings increased to $117.6 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to $116.7 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier. The Arkansas company attributed the hike to increased revenue, a one-time after tax benefit of $9.5 million in its paid time off policy, and a lower effective income tax rate.
Total operating revenue for the most recent quarter was $1.72 billion, compared with $1.62 billion for the fourth quarter 2015 while operating income increased to $194.4 million from $192.9 million.
For all of 2016, net income totaled $432.1 million compared to $427.2 million a year earlier, as total revenue also moved higher to $6.6 billion from $6.2 billion.
In the company’s intermodal segment, fourth quarter revenue rose 3% to $998 million while operating income fell 3% to $124 million. Freight volume grew 5% year-over-year but revenue per load dropped 2%.
Its dedicated operation saw an 8% increase in fourth quarter revenue, totaling $398 million, while operating income increased 37% to $57.5 million. Revenue per truck per week increased approximately 5% compared to 2015. A year-over-year net additional 193 revenue-producing trucks, 29 net additions compared to third quarter 2016, were in the fleet by the end of the quarter, according to the company.
J.B. Hunt’s brokerage segment, Integrated Capacity Solutions, reported a 22% increase in revenue, totaling $232 million, while operating income fell 52% to $6.1 million. The company said the increase in revenue was driven by a 38% increase in volume offset by a 12% decrease in revenue per load and freight mix changes driven by customer demand. Operating income decreased primarily due to a lower gross profit margin, increased claim costs, higher technology costs and increased personnel costs.
The company’s truck segment reported revenue fell 3% to $96 million in the fourth quarter while operating income slid 35% to $6.8 million. Revenue excluding fuel surcharges also decreased 3%, primarily from a 3% decrease in rate per mile due to core customer rate decreases of approximately 1.4% and freight mix changes compared to fourth quarter 2015. At the end of the period, the segment operated 2,128 tractors compared to 2,149 a year ago.