Operating revenue was a record $708.2 million, a 21.8 percent increase from $581.5 million in 1998. Net income for the year was $11.4 million, compared with $20.7 million for 1998.
While the company is pleased with the strong top-line growth achieved in 1999, Max. L. Fuller, co-chairman, reports that the U.S. Xpress is disappointed with the decline in net income for the fourth quarter and the year. “The decline in net income was due in part to significant impact of higher fuel prices in the second half of the year. The higher fuel prices, net of fuel surcharges, reduced operating income by approximately $3.2 million for the quarter and approximately $4.6 million for the year.”
Patrick E. Quinn, co-chairman, stated, “in the fourth quarter, we believe we turned the corner in improving equipment utilization, on-time service to customers and driver retention. The improved utilization, along with strong freight demand and improved driver retention, lead us to utilize daily rental tractors at times during the fourth quarter.
“As we look to the year 2000, our focus is to significantly improve the profitability of the company while continuing to pursue consistent growth,” Quinn added. “We will aggressively work with our customers to obtain rate increases and to improve compliance with fuel surcharges that compensate for higher fuel prices.”