Marten Transport's 2017 net income nearly tripled from the previous year. Photo: Marten Transport

Marten Transport's 2017 net income nearly tripled from the previous year. Photo: Marten Transport

Refrigerated trucking company Marten Transport Ltd. on Thursday reported sharply higher profits for the final quarter of 2017 and for the full year, thanks in part to the new tax law.

The Wisconsin-based fleet’s fourth quarter net income rose to $65.1 million, or $1.18 per share, from the same time a year earlier, when it reported net income of 8.3 million, or 15 cents per share.

According to the company, the results include a deferred income taxes benefit of $56.5 million related to the federal tax cut legislation signed into law in late 2017. Excluding the benefit, net income improved 3.7% to $8.6 million, or 16 cents per share.

Revenue improved 5.9% to $182.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 from $172.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Excluding fuel surcharges, revenue improved 3.9% to $163.4 million for the 2017 quarter.

For all of 2017, Marten reported net income of $90.3 million, or $1.66 per share, versus net income of $33.5 million, or 61 cents per share, from a year earlier. Excluding the deferred income taxes benefit, 2017 net income improved 1.1% to $33.8 million, or 62 cents diluted share.

Revenue for all of 2017 totaled $698.1 million, up from $674.1 million in 2016.

“We are pleased to report improvements in both our top- and bottom-line results for the quarter and year, results our people achieved while overcoming significantly less gain on disposition of our revenue equipment in 2017,” said Chairman and CEO Randy Marten.

He said the company capitalized on the strengthening freight environment to better its average revenue per tractor by 7.1% in its truckload operation and by 2.5% in its dedicated operation from the 2016 to the 2017 quarter, along with revenue increases in both the company’s intermodal and brokerage operations.

“We continue to earn awards of new dedicated business and expect our number of dedicated tractors to increase to over 1,150 by June 2018,” Marten said.

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