Net income per share increased 14% to $.99 versus $.87 per share last year. Significantly higher fuel costs, particularly in the last half of 1999, continued to have an adverse impact on the company's operations and earnings. The increase in earnings per share resulted
primarily from the company's repurchase of 758,170 common shares during 1999.
For the quarter ended December 31, 1999, operating revenues increased 16% to $34.5 million versus $29.6 million last year. Net income for the fourth quarter of 1999 was $.12 per share compared with $.20 per share in the same period last year.
"Although the company's record performance in 1999 marked the third consecutive year of higher earnings, with revenues doubling during that time frame, we were disappointed with our operations in the last half of 1999," said W. Miller Welborn, president and ceo. "Not only did fuel costs affect our profitability, our owner-operator program did not make the kind of progress in 1999 as we had intended.
"We continue to temper our outlook for the coming year in light of the fuel situation," Welborn added. "With a combined fleet that is approximately 54% company owned, the company had to absorb much of the higher fuel costs experienced during the latter part of 1999. These
trends appear to be intensifying at this time, as fuel costs have gone even higher in January 2000. Recognizing that our first quarter is the slowest seasonal period of the year for us, and that higher fuel costs have a direct impact on the success of our owner-operator program, we
believe that revenues and profits for the first quarter of 2000 will be under pressure."