The fourth quarter 2017 earnings reporting season continued on Thursday with another three fleets – Old Dominion Freight Line, Hub Group, and Radiant Logistics – reporting increased profits, due not only to more business and better rates, but also to tax reform.

ODFL Sees Tax Benefit Of More Than $100 Million

Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. nearly doubled its fourth quarter 2017 profit, which totaled $197.3 million, or $2.39 per share, compared to $68.5 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue over the same time period improved 19.5% to $891.1 million.

The results include $9.8 million of expenses related to a special bonus paid in December to non-executive employees following the passage of Congressional tax reform, according to the company. The new tax laws also required ODFL to revalue its net deferred tax liability, which resulted in a net tax benefit of $104.9 million.

“We were pleased to see an acceleration in our revenue growth, which continued the momentum that began earlier in 2017,” said David S. Congdon, vice chairman and CEO. “Revenue for the fourth quarter increased 19.5%, which consisted of a 14.4% increase in LTL (less-than-truckload) tonnage and a 5.1% increase in LTL revenue per hundredweight. The increase in our LTL tonnage included an 11.4% increase in LTL shipments and a 2.7% increase in LTL weight per shipment.”

He said the company believes the industry pricing environment strengthened in the fourth quarter, which drove the 3.1% increase in its LTL revenue per hundredweight, excluding fuel surcharges.

For all of 2017, Old Dominion's net income rose 56.8% to $464.8 million, while revenue moved 12.3% higher to $3.36 billion.

Analysts at the investment banking firm Stifel said it was “a very good quarter” for the carrier.

"In periods of surging demand, we believe Old Dominion is organized and disciplined enough to be able to handle a significant influx of volume on its own terms without squeezing margins or negatively impacting service levels,” they said.

There is more information on the ODFL web site.

Hub Group Reports Record Revenue

Intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services provider Hub Group Inc. announced fourth quarter 2017 net income of $100 million, or $2.99 per share, compared to fourth quarter 2016 net income of $18.2 million, or 55 cents per share.

The fourth quarter includes a $75.2 million decrease in income taxes resulting from the company’s estimate of the change to its deferred tax liability at the end of 2017.

Revenue for the current quarter was $1.163 billion, a record for Hub, compared with $978.6 million for the fourth quarter 2016.

Operating income for the quarter increased to $41.1 million versus $30.8 million for the fourth quarter 2016.

Revenue for all of 2017 was $4 billion, another record for Hub, compared to $3.6 billion for 2016. Net income for 2017 totaled $135.2 million compared to $74.8 million a year earlier.

“Our 2017 revenue of $4 billion is one significant milestone toward achieving our target of $6 billion in revenue in the next five years. We intend to achieve $6 billion in revenue through organic growth initiatives and acquisitions in both our core business and new service offerings,” said Dave Yeager, CEO.

Operating income for 2017 fell to $96.6 million from $123.8 million for 2016. 

The biggest factor driving the decrease in operating income was a $29 million decline in intermodal gross margin, according to the company. It said during most of 2017, intermodal cost increases were much higher than customer price increases.

More details are on the Hub Group web site.

Canadian Business Improves Radiant Logistics’ Net Income

Third-party logistics and multi-modal transportation services provider Radiant Logistics Inc. reported its second fiscal quarter earnings for the period ending Dec. 31, 2017.

Net income was $3.3 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to $2.1 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier. This included a one-time benefit of $2.3 million related to deferred tax liabilities.

Revenues totaled $206.7 million for the second fiscal quarter, up 3.9% compared the prior year period.

"We are pleased to report improving results for the quarter led by progress in our Canadian operations," said Bohn Crain, founder and CEO. “Although margin pressures felt across our industry as a result of extreme capacity and pricing swings over the past 12 months have led to less favorable year-over-year comparisons, we believe we are well positioned and beginning to benefit from a more favorable market environment given the healthy economy, high freight demand and tight capacity.”

He also said the better quarterly results were led by progress in the company’s Canadian operations.

Because Radiant operates on a fiscal year that began in July, it did not report 2017 calendar year results.

You can read more about Radiant’s latest earnings from PR Newswire.

About the author
Evan Lockridge

Evan Lockridge

Former Business Contributing Editor

Trucking journalist since 1990, in the news business since early ‘80s.

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